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CHOPIN'S LETTERS 



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MUSICAL PERSONALITIES 

GIUSEPPE VERDI 

HIS LIFE AND WORKS 

èj Francis Toye 

COSIMA WAGNER 
èy Richard Count du Moulin Eckart 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ERNEST NEWMAN 

BRAHMS 
by Walter Niemann 

SCHUMANN 

A LIFE OF SUFFERING 

by Victor Basch 

THE UNCONSCIOUS BEETHOVEN 

by Ernest Newman 

LETTERS OF HANS VON BÙLOW 

Edited by Richard Count du Moulin Eckart 

TRANSLATED BY HANNAH WALLER 
THE TRANSLATION EDITED, WITH AN INTRODUC- 
TION, BY SCOTT GODDARD 

MY MUSICAL LIFE 

by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakoff 

WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY CARL VAN VECHTEN 



THESE ARE BORZOI BOOKS 
PUBLISHED BY ALFRED A. KNOPF 



- x » <s t& sic •:::• as a s» as as ofr <x» a» « x » «x»« x *« x » a s * x » «x» «x» etc» « n e- >x» »x» as -a» 



CHOPIN'S 
LETTERS 







Collected by HENRYK OPIENSKI 

Translated from the original Polish and French 

with a Preface and Editorial notes by 

E. L. VOYNICH 

NEW YORK • ALFRED -A • KNOPF -MCMXXXI 



Copyright 1931 by Alfred • A • Knopf ■ Inc. 

All rights reserved — no part of this book may be reprinted 

in any form without permission in writing from the publisher 

First Edition 



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WZbĄT 



Manufactured in the United States of America 



CHOPIN'S LETTERS 



PREFACE 



These letters, which I believe have not before appeared in 
English as a complete collection, are of great interest from sev- 
eral points of view. 

They throw light on the genesis of some of Chopin 9 s composi- 
tions; on his character, personality and mental habits; on his 
teachers, colleagues and pupils; on the environment which 
moulded his childhood, and the inhibitions which throughout 
life hampered him, both as a musician and as a man. We see 
here the conflicting influences of Bach and of Italian opera; of 
Polish folk-song and of pianistic virtuosity; his tragic devotion 
to George Sand and his utter inability to understand her; the 
crystalline clarity of his artistic instinct, and the imperfect think- 
ing which enabled him, after living for years among French in- 
tellectuals, to retain almost unmodified the provincial prejudices 
of his youth. 

We see his delightful relations with the family at home; his 
affectionate loyalty to old friends, and perpetual unconscious 
exploitation of them; his irritable temper and warm heart; his 
Rabelaisian jokes and essential conventionality; his protecting 
tenderness to Solange Clésinger; his naïve contempt for Jews 
and English, for publishers, Portuguese and similar inferior 
creatures; his charming modesty and regal pride; and his ac- 
ceptance, at their own valuation, of the crowd of rich amateurs 
and brainless royalties, in whose palaces his genius permitted 
to him the status, now of a tame prodigy, now of a " poor 
relation. 9 " 



PREFACE 

Editing has proved no easy task. I feel that these letters would 
lose much of their value and interest for English-speaking 
readers without some knowledge of the persons and events 
constantly referred to in them. There are so many of these that 
even had it been possible to trace them all, any adequate men- 
tion would have overweighted the book with footnotes. Where 
I have used Dr. Opienski's admirable notes or quoted from 
other authors, I have appended an acknowledgment: Op. = 
Opieński; Karl. = Karłowicz; Hoes. = Hoesick; Leicht. = 
Leichtentritt. Where no such acknowledgment is made, the note 
is my own. 

In the case of a few very famous or widely known names, as: 
George Sand, Mickiewicz, Humboldt, Arago, Jenny Lind, it has 
appeared to me sufficient to put just the dates of birth and death, 
ivithout any biographical details. 

It has sometimes been hard to decide which reference is rele- 
vant and illuminating, and ivhich superfluous. How much space 
should be allotted, for example, to the frequently mentioned 
public affairs of Poland? It depends on the place they held in 
Chopin s affections ; and just what that place was I do not know, 
and doubt whether he did. His love for his native land: for its 
speech, its proverbs, its humour, its songs, its folkways, is be- 
yond question; nor can any serious reader doubt the sincerity of 
his sympathy with its desperate struggle against alien oppres- 
sion. Yet that sympathy had strange bedfellows. That he took no 
part in the struggle need not surprise us; the wind bloweth where 
it listeth, and a creative artist, however keen his sympathies, 
must live under the compulsion of his art. But it is a little star- 
tling to find a Polish patriot not merely keeping but proudly 
treasuring a diamond ring given him by the Tzar, and, even 
after 1831, accepting favours from the Grand Duke Constantine. 

Scarcely less puzzling is the fragment of a diary (pp. 148—50) 
said, on the authority of the late Count Stanisław Tarnowski, a 
Polish university professor who published it in 1871, to have 
been written in Stuttgart in 1831, on the receipt of the news that 
Warsaw had been taken and sacked by Russian troops. What 
Chopin must have suffered while waiting to learn the fate of his 
relatives and friends, we can guess from the music composed 

vi 



PREFACE 

during those terrible days; it is easy to believe that his imagina- 
tion was haunted, as well it might be, by nightmare images of 
his mother murdered and his young sisters struggling in the 
grasp of drunken soldiers; but that such a diary as this, and 
such music, could come from the same hand, in the same week, 
is surely somewhat strange. 

As others also seem to have been puzzled by this riddle, I 
asked Dr. Opieński his opinion as to the authenticity and accu- 
racy of the fragment, and quote from his prompt and courteous 
reply. Count Tarnowski had the MS. {the original? or a copy?) 
from Chopin's friend, Princess Marcellina Czartoryska. The 
original was later accidentally destroyed; but Dr. Opieński 
assures me that " no Polish biographer has ever doubted " the 
Tarnowski version; and mentions, as a psychological corrobora- 
tion which should set my doubts at rest, that very coincidence 
with the music which first aroused them. 

In deference to his conviction, I include the fragment. Since 
the diary no longer exists and all the persons connected with it 
are dead, each reader must decide for himself whether he can 
reconcile this kind of thing, either with the raging passion of 
the D minor Prelude and C minor Etude or with the stifled agony 
of the E minor Prelude. The human mind is a queer jumble, and 
it is possible that Chopin really did write like that. But, remem- 
bering how easily — and how innocently — platitudes and ap- 
propriate sentiments find their way into the defenceless mouths 
of the dead; how much apocryphal stuff was circulated about 
Chopin even during his life, how short a time he had been under- 
ground when Turgeniev failed to discover a fashionable water- 
ing-place without at least one titled lady " in whose arms this 
composer breathed his last " ; it seems only fair to give him the 
benefit of the doubt. 

Another difficulty was the problem of attributions. Where 
Chopin seems to have really used a Polish folk-tune, I have tried 
to give the actual tune in the best version I could find. Where 
responsible authors appear to believe that a composition may 
have been inspired by a poem, I have given a reference to the 
poem; but it seems to me that fanciful and probably groundless 

1 See Huneker, p. 31; also Leichtentritt. 

vii 



PREFACE 

interpretations of or names for particular Mazurkas or Preludes 
are best ignored. 

The case of the four " Ballades " is a special one. Whether 
there is any authentic evidence of their supposed connection with 
Mickiewicz' s ivonderful ballads, I do not know. But that Chopin 
and Mickiewicz were personal friends; that the composer was 
much under the poet's influence; that he knew and was deeply- 
impressed by the ballads, we know; and I have therefore felt 
justified in devoting a little space to them. 

According to M. Cortot, the G minor Ballade is based on the 
epic poem: " Konrad Wallenrod " ; and the other three on bal- 
lads, written by Mickiewicz on the legends which he had learned 
in Lithuania from the local peasantry; the F major on that called 
" Świteź " ; the A flat major on " Świtezianka " ; and the F 
minor on " Trzech Budrysów." 

" Konrad Wallenrod " is a story of pagan Lithuania. The 
Knights of the Teutonic Order have invaded the country, en- 
slaved the inhabitants and forcibly converted them to Christi- 
anity. A Lithuanian, carried off by them in childhood from the 
house of his murdered parents, baptized and brought up as a 
German, conceives a scheme of vengeance for the wrongs of his 
people. He feigns German sympathies and Christian beliefs, dis- 
tinguishes himself in the Spanish war against the Moors, returns 
to Lithuania as a devout and militant Christian, is elected Ma- 
gister of the Order and then deliberately involves it in ruin and 
disgrace. The only part of the poem which is in ballad form is 
the magnificent " Alpuhara" : a tale of a Moorish chieftain, 
who issues from his besieged city to tender his submission to the 
Spaniards, declares himself converted to Christianity, insists on 
embracing the leaders of the Spanish army, and only then shows 
his face and announces that he has brought them a present of the 
plague: — " Watch me, and see how you are going to die." 

The next two ballads refer to the haunted Świteź lake, on 
which no one might launch a boat, for fear of the anger of the 
water-lilies. That called by the name of the lake tells how the 
Russians of Novgorod attacked a Lithuanian castle whose owner 
had left his young daughter in charge during his absence. The 
girl, unable to resist the invaders, prayed to her gods to save her 

viii 



PREFACE 

and her felloiv maidens from dishonour by striking them dead. 
The water engulfed the city, and the maidens became water- 
lilies. Whoever attempts to interfere with the solitude of the lake 
is stricken with disease and dies. 

"Świtezianka {The Sivitez Woman) " is an Undine story. A 
hunter meets a maiden in the wood; she accepts his love, exacting 
a promise of faithfulness. Then she leaves him and he ivalks 
homewards beside the lake. Seeing, as he supposes, another girl 
at the water s edge, the fickle lover makes his way to her through 
the marsh. It is the same maiden, the nymph of the lake. She 
reproaches him bitterly for his unfaithfulness, drags him down 
and drowns him. She can be seen dancing in the water, while his 
miserable ghost ivails under the larch-trees of the shore. 

" Trzech Budrysów " is in a lighter vein. The three sons of 
Budrys, a patriarch of pagan Lithuania, are sent out by their 
father to seek their fortunes. He tells them that they will find 
war and loot in three directions: One is to follow the chieftain 
who is attacking the Russians, and to bring back sables and 
cloth of silver; one is to join the expedition against the German 
Knights of the Cross, from ivhom he can take amber and Christian 
ecclesiastical vestments; and one is to ride to Poland and bring 
back a Polish wife, since the wealth of that country consists of 
the beauty of its women. All three young men go, and each in 
turn comes back bringing a Polish bride. 

Even the comparatively simple work of translation has had 
its share of difficulty. Some letters are written in a mixture of 
Polish and French, ivith the idioms of the two languages tangled 
together; others, originally French, have been at some time 
translated into Polish, and now from Polish into English; some 
of the early ones are written in a schoolboy jargon of French, 
German, Latin, and in one case Italian phrases transliterated 
into Polish; and so on. Also, they are full of proverbs and local 
allusions, and in some cases contain words not to be found in 
any Polish dictionary which I have been able to consult. Not- 
withstanding his hearty scorn for foreigners who misspell Polish 
names, Chopin seems to have been totally indifferent to the spell- 
ing of any non-Polish name. His usual method, apparently, was 
to make a rough guess at the sound of it, and then put that guess, 

ix 



PREFACE 

approximately, into a Polish transliteration. Thus: Daily News 
becomes Deliniuz ; etc. — But he did not trouble himself to 
remember, even from day to day, just how he had done this; so 
sometimes in the same letter we get Soliva and Soliwa, Hasslinger 
and Haslinger, Mendelson, Mendelssohn, Mendelsson, etc. 

I have done my best to thread my way through this jungle, 
preserving the erratic spelling and occasionally inserting either 
[sic] or the correct spelling in square brackets, to help the 
reader out. This last has not always been easy to find. For ex- 
ample, when a French name, in transliteration, comes out with 
a final o, the real termination may be au, aux, ault, aulx, aud, 
auld, aut, etc. 

Another puzzle has been ivhat to do with Polish place-names. 
The partition of the country for generations between three for- 
eign powers, all of ivhich tried to destroy the national speech, 
one by Russifying, the other tivo by Germanizing, has resulted 
in such confusion that no satisfactory method can be found. 
After consultation with Mr. Knopfs editor I have reluctantly 
adopted the somewhat clumsy method of giving the two capital 
names, Warsaw and Cracow, in English; names of secondary 
cities in Polish with an English translation in square brackets, 
as: Wroclaw [Breslau] Poznań \Posen\ ; and those of smaller 
places in Polish alone. 

For this, as for all other defects in the performing of a delight- 
ful but not very easy task, I must beg the reader's indulgence. 

E. L. VOYNICH 

New York; June 1931. 



CHOPIN'S LETTERS 



msmnn 



CHOPIN'S LETTERS 



1. 

To his father, on his name-day. [In verse] 

When the world declares the festivity of your name-day, 
my Papa, it brings joy to me also, with these wishes; 
that you may live happily, may not know grievous cares, 
that God may always favour you with the fate you desire, 
these wishes I express for your sake. 

F. Chopin 
6 December 1816. 



2. 

To his mother, on her name-day. [In verse] 

I congratulate you, Mummy, on your name-day! 
May the heavens fulfil what I feel in my heart: 
That you should always be well and happy, and 
have the longest and most satisfactory life. 

F. Chopin 
16 June 1817. 



3. 

To his father, on his name-day. [In verse] 

How great a joy I feel in my heart. 

That a day so pleasant, so dear and glorious 

Begins, a day that I greet with the wish 

3 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

That long years may pass in happiness, 

In health and vigour, peacefully, successfully. 

May the gifts of heaven fall richly upon you. 

F. Chopin 
6 December 1817. 



4. 
To his father on his name-day. 

Dear Papa! 

I could express my feelings more easily if they could be put 
into notes of music, but as the very best concert would not cover 
my affection for you, dear Daddy, I must use the simple words 
of my heart, to lay before you my utmost gratitude and filial 
affection. 

F. Chopin 
6 December 1818. 



5. 

To Eustachy Marylski in Pecice. 
[Warsaw, September 1823.] 

Dear Marylski! 

I went myself to Pan Zubelewicz to find out when the lectures 
for beginners, not the examinations, begin ; he told me that they 
begin either the 16th or the 17th of this month, the Commission 
not having yet decided whether the public session of the Acad- 
emy shall be the 15th or the 16th. He also told me that the 
lectures are to be in the morning and the examinations in the 
afternoon, and that after the 15th he will not put anyone down. 
Excuse my writing so badly, I am in a hurry. Please tell Weltz 
what I have told you, and remember me kindly to him and 
Tytus. Białobłocki came to Warsaw on Saturday; he will en- 
ter his name on Tuesday, leave on Wednesday and return for 

4 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

the term. Mamma and Papa send greetings to your parents and 
Ludwika to your sister; and I embrace you and your brothers 
heartily. 

F. Chopin 

Messrs. Kulikowski, Karwowski [Karnowski?], Wilczyński, 
and Krzywicki are retired, and that professor from Kalisz has 
got Kulikowski's place. Pan Dobronoki [?] sends you greetings. 
Goodbye. Don't show this letter to anyone, because everybody 
would say that I can't write and don't know anything about 
politics. 



6. 

To Wilhelm Kolberg. 
Szafarnia, 19 August 1824. 

Dear Wilus'! 

Thanks for remembering me; but on the other hand I am 
annoyed with you, that you are such a mean and horrid etcetera 
and only write such a scrap to me. Were you short of paper 
or pens, or did you grudge the ink? Perhaps you had no time 
to do more than put in a scrawl? Eh, eh, that's it; you go 
horseback riding, enjoying yourself, and forget about me — 
Well, well; give me a kiss and I'll forgive you. 

I'm glad you're well and jolly, because that's what is wanted 
in the country. I'm so glad I can write to you. I also am enjoy- 
ing myself; and you're not the only one that rides, for I can 
stick on too. Don't ask how well; but I can, enough for the 
horse to go slowly wherever he prefers, while I sit fearfully 
on his back; like a monkey on a bear. Till now I haven't had 
any falls because the horse hasn't thrown me off ; but — if ever 
he should want me to tumble off, I may do it some day. 

I won't bother you with my affairs, because I know they 
won't interest you. The flies often alight on my lofty nose, 
but that's unimportant, because it's rather a custom of these 

5 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

importunate beasties. The gnats bite me ; but that doesn't matter, 
because it's not on the nose. I run about the garden, and some- 
times walk. I walk in the woods, and sometimes ride, not on 
horseback but in a carriage, or trap, or coach; but with such 
honour that I always sit at the back, never in front. Perhaps I've 
bored you already, but what can I do? If not, then write by 
the first post, and I will continue my epistles at once. 

I end my letter therefore without compliments, but amicably. 
Keep well, dear Wilus', and please do write to me. We shall 
meet in 4 weeks. I embrace you heartily. Your sincere friend. 

F. Chopin 

My respects to your Mamma and Papa, and I embrace your 
brothers. 



7. 

To Jan Białobłocki in Sokołowo. 
[Sokoloivo, end of summer 1824 or 1825. ] 

Dear, Beloved Jalek! 

We start very early tomorrow. I promised to come to you 
yesterday, but I couldn't get to Sokołowo x till today. I'm very 
sorry that I shan't see you again on these holidays; I must just 
say goodbye to you on this bit of paper and give you a letter 
for Panna Kostancja, 2 which Ludwika 3 has sent by post, in a 
letter to me. I wish you the best of health, and that your leg 
should get quite well. Kiss your Papa for me and thank him for 
the decoction, to which I am much indebted. Tell him that I 
will never forget about it. So, dear Jasia, we have to part with- 
out any real goodbye. I kiss you heartily. Remember me, as I 
remember you. 

F. F. Chopin 

1 The Białobłockis' country home near Szafarnia, where he was spending a sum- 
mer holiday with the Dziewanowskis. COp-3 

2 Kostancja Białobłocka. 

8 Chopin's sister Ludwika. 

6 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Greetings to Panna Florentina. I should like to follow you to 
Radomin, but I can't. I should like to wait; I can't; for Panna 
Ludwika 1 — oh that Panna Ludwika ! — is waiting for me. 
I shall come back quickly, because I want to pack my things at 
once. Give me a kiss! You would not believe how sorry I am! 
— I don't want to go away. Why have I jolted all this way in a 
carriage to find nobody at home! But at least you will know 
that I did come. I came to say an affectionate goodbye to you 
and your Papa. 

I don't myself know what I've written; I have never before 
been in such a situation. 



8. 

To the Same. 

[Warsaw] Friday, 8 July 1825. 

Dear Jasia! 

It's lucky that there is such a good opportunity to write to 
you. I have to report to you that we are all pretty well ; secondly, 
that the examination is close upon us, just under my nose (in 
old Poland they used to say : " in my belt " ; but as I don't wear 
a belt, only a big nose, you have an excellent reason why I 
should tell you it is under my nose). Don't expect me to write 
much to you; I am very busy, and the gentleman who brought 
the note from Panna Kostancja came this evening and leaves 
tomorrow. Kresner and Signora Bianchi 2 give a concert on 
Monday, not in the theatre, but in Elert's Hall in the German 
hotel. It's a concert à la Krogólski 3 by private subscription ; 
Kresner gave me 12 tickets, but I sold only 3, as the price is 
6 zlotys. 4 

I'm sorry you are not here ; I have had some very good times 
with Your Benevolence, gossiping, joking, singing, crying, laugh- 
ing, fisticuffing, and so on. 

1 Ludwika Dziewanowska. 

2 Musicians in one of whose concerts he had taken part. 

3 A local musician. 

* 1 złoty = about 11 cents. 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

In my next letter I will let you know rather more fully, by 
post, when we shall meet, for we hear that the examination is to 
be on the 26th of this month. I'm writing after dark; tomorrow 
I have to get up early, and tonight to sit up and sit up, sit up, 
still sit up, and perhaps even sit up all night. 

Amice, vale! I can't tell you anything, except that I haven't 
yet had a letter from you from Sochaczew. If you haven't writ- 
ten, a bad wigging awaits you in my next letter. 

I must add one thing more to this; that is: that you are to 
tell me whether your leg is better, and whether you arrived 
all right. 

This letter is like a field where peas and cabbages are mixed 
up together. There's no logic, je sais qu'il manque logique ; mais 
que faire, on se hâte, car on n'a pas le temps pour écrire hon- 
nêtement. Si c'est comme ça, 1 forgive me; I'll send a longer 
and better letter by post; now I just embrace you heartily. 

F. F. Chopin 

Żywny 2 and Pani Dekert are well ; they don't know I am 
writing to you, or would send messages. My respects to your 
Papa. 



9. 

To the Same. 

[Warsaw, 27 November 1825.] 

Mon Cher! 

La lettre que vous m'avez écrite, rejoiced me, although, 
comme je vois, it contains sad news. Votre jambe vous fait 
mal; I grieve for that; not que vous êtes assez gai, as I see from 
the letter, ça m'a donné de la sauce, 3 and leaves me in the best 
of humours. 

1 I know that it lacks logic; but what can one do; one hurries because one has 
not the time to write properly. If that's the way, [The French phrases in this and 
in the following letters to Bialoblocki are written with Polish spelling.] 

2 Wojciech Żywny (1756-1840), a Bohemian, Chopin's first music teacher, much 
beloved by him and a close friend of the family. [Op.] 

3 The letter which you have written to me ... as I see . . . Your leg hurts 
you . . . that you are fairly gay . . . that has given me pep . . . 

8 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Demain nous finissons notre examination. Je ne prendrai 
pas de prix, car les lavements le prennent — When I come 
to you, I will explain this riddle — est-ce possible qu'on donne 
un prix à un lavement? 1 It would need a long explanation to 
make this clear in a letter; but one spoken word will show you 
all the finesse of this expression. 

On Monday, as Panna Ludwika has decided, we leave here, 
and arrive in Szafarnia on Wednesday. Si vous voulez me voir, 
venez le premier, car autrement 2 my good Guardian Lady will 
not allow me to go to you. 

Tomorrow at this hour quel bonheur quel plaisir; 3 when I 
go to bed, I shan't get up so early on Friday. I have new breeches 
with [undecipherable] well cut (though this last is not true) ; 
a new muffler on my neck — you can call it by some other 
name, as perhaps you don't understand that one, — a tie for 
je ne me souviens plus, 4 how many zlotys, je le paie avec 
l'argent et la main de ma chère soeur Louise. 5 

Ecoutez, écoutez, ma'mzelle Dorothée 

Adolf Szydłowski 6 in the servant's part. 

Ecoutez, here I begin the end of my letter, we shall soon meet; 
you know that I don't like to scribble much (except with 4 
hands) ; so forgive me for stopping now. We are all well, I have 
had 3 letters from you; examination tomorrow; Panna Lesz- 
czyńska sends you greetings; Pan Domowicz has been in War- 
saw; Żywny is still wearing the old wig; Pani Dekert shakes 
your hand; Barciński embraces you; I'll bring you a book for 
Okunie. All the household sends love to you; same to your Papa. 
Give your muzzle ! I love you. 

F. F. Chopin 



1 Tomorrow we finish our examination. I shan't take a prize, for the enemas 
take it. . . . Is it possible that a prize should be given to an enema? . . . 

2 If you want to see me, come first, for otherwise . . . 

3 what joy what pleasure. 

4 I don't remember. 

c I pay it with the money and the hand of my dear sister Ludwika. 
6 Listen, listen, Miss Dorothea . . . Listen. Probably a reference to some 
amateur theatricals, of which the Chopins were very fond. [Op.] 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



Oh, I can smell Sokołowo! 

A Monsieur Monsieur Jean Białobłocki à Sokołowo — par 

bonté. 



10. 

To his parents in Warsaw. 
Kowalowo, Friday [1825]. 

My dearest Parents; and you my dear Sisters! 

Since my health is as good as a faithful dog, and Pan Zboiń- 
ski's yellow eyes are lowered [?]/ and as we are starting for 
Płock, it would be funny of me if I didn't write to tell you so. 

Today, then, to Płock, tomorrow to Rościszew, the day after 
to Kikol, two or three days in Turznia, two or three in Kozłów, 
a moment in Gdańsk [Danzig], and home. Perhaps somebody 
will say: — " He's in a hurry to get home, since he talks about 
it." No, not a bit; your Honours, or your Nobilities, are en- 
tirely mistaken ; I wrote it only to arouse a pleasurable emotion, 
such as greetings usually produce. Who could be homesick? 
Not I at all; perhaps somebody else, but not I — All the 
same, there isn't any letter from Warsaw; when we get to 
Płock today I shall turn the whole postbag over to see if there's 
something for me. How are things in that new room? How are 
they grilling themselves for the examination? Is Tytus sighing 
for the country? Is Pruszak just the same? How did Pan Skar- 
bek get on with that dinner, the 3rd one, that I was to have gone 
to the country for with him? I'm as inquisitive about everything 
as an old woman. But what can I do? If you give a dog no meat, 
the dog has to fast, and what else can it do except run here 
and there looking for food? So I'm going to Płock in the hope 
of meat; I suppose you didn't know that in summer the last 
post — Now I shall have to expect to be for a long time again 
without letters, so I shan't worry; it's hard to know where to 
catch me, but I shall write regularly at every step, and let you 

1 Phrase ungrammatical. 

10 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

know what address to put. But, according to Pan Zboiński, you 
can write by Toruń [Thorn], Schwetz, to Kozłów, and we shall 
find the letter on arriving. That's a good idea ; I hope it will be 
adopted (for Izabela). 1 

I wanted to send my bundle to you, Sisters, but I have no 
time to write, we're just starting; it's 8 in the morning, and we 
never get up before 7; the air is fine, the sun is shining beauti- 
fully, the birds are twittering; there isn't any brook or it 
would murmur, but there is a pond and the frogs are piping 
delightfully! But the very best of all is a blackbird that is per- 
forming all kinds of virtuosity under our windows; and, after 
the blackbird, the Zboinski's youngest child Kamilka, who is 
not 2 years old yet. She has taken a fancy to me, and lisps: 
" Kagila loves oo." And I loves oo a billion times, Papa, 
Mamma, Mamma and Papa, just as she loves me; and I kiss 
your hands. 

Affectionately, 

F. Chopin 

For my sisters: kisses, kisses, kisses. 
Greetings to Tytus, Prus, Bartoch, everybody. 



11. 

To Jan Matuszyński in Warsaw. 
[Szafarnia, 1825 Ą 

Dear Beloved Jasia! 

Oh, Mme de Sévigné would not have been able to describe 
to you my delight on receiving your letter so unexpectedly; I 
should sooner have looked for death than for such a surprise. 
It would never have entered my head to suppose that such an 
inveterate paper-smudger, a philologist who keeps his nose in 
his Schiller, would take up his pen to write a letter to a poor 
booby as slack as grandfather's horsewhip ; 2 To a person who 

1 His sister Izabela Chopin. 

2 Polish proverb: as slack as a wet string. 

11 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

has scarcely read a page of Latin yet; to a pigling who, fatten- 
ing on hogwash, hopes to arrive at, anyway, the tenth part of 
your beefiness. 

It really is a great favour; a great Hon-our from my John; 
and if anybody can ever rate it too highly, it's I, just now ; and 
I should not apply it to myself, were I not deigning to take my 
pen in my hand to insult the beefiness of your Nobility. 

All this is only an exordium; now I come to the real matter; 
and if you wanted to frighten me with your Puławy and your 
hare, I intend to take down such an inexperienced sportsman 
with my Toruń, and my hare (which was certainly bigger than 
yours), and my four partridges, which I brought in the day 
before yesterday. What did you see in Puławy? What? You saw 
only a tiny part of what my eyes rested on in full. Did you 
see at Sybillie a brick taken from the house of Copernicus, 
from his birth-place? I have seen the whole house, the whole 
place, certainly a little profaned at present. Imagine, Jasio, 
in that corner, in that very room, where that famous astronomer 
received the gift of life, stands now the bed of some German, 
who probably, after eating too many potatoes, often emits 
many zephyrs; and on those bricks, of which one was sent with 
great ceremony to Puławy, crawl many bed-bugs. Yes, Brother ! 
The German does not care who lived in that house; he treats 
the whole wall as Princess Czartoryska would not treat a single 
brick. 

But never mind Copernicus; let us come to the Toruń cakes. 
In order that you may know them well, perhaps better than 
you know Copernicus, I have to announce to you a fact of 
importance with regard to them, which may surprise such a 
mere paper-smudger as you; that fact is as follows. According 
to the custom of the pastry-cooks here, the cake-shops are booths, 
provided with cupboards, well locked up, in which the various 
kinds of cakes rest, assembled in dozens. You doubtless will not 
find this in the Adagiorum Hiliades; but I, knowing your in- 
terest in such important matters, inform you, in order that 
when translating Horace, you may be able to help yourself out 
in passages of dubious significance. That is all that I am in a 
position to write to you about Toruń; perhaps I can tell you 

12 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

personally; now all I can say in writing is that of everything 
there the cakes make the strongest impression. It is true that 
I saw the entire fortifications on all sides of the town, with all 
details; I saw a wonderful machine for transporting sand 
from place to place, a perfectly simple and most interesting 
thing, called by the Germans Sandmaschine; I also saw Gothic 
churches, founded by the Knights of the Cross, one of them 
dating from 1231. I saw a leaning tower, a fine town hall, fine 
inside and out; its special feature is that it has as many windows 
as there are days in the year, as many halls as there are 
months, as many rooms as the weeks, and the whole building is 
magnificent, in the Gothic style. But all that does not outshine 
the cakes; oh the cakes! I sent one to Warsaw. But what do I 
see? I have only just sat down, and here is the last sheet before 
me! It seems to me that I have but just begun to write, just 
started to talk with you, and now I've got to stop! Dear beloved 
Jasia, all I can do is to embrace you heartily. It's 10 o'clock, 
everybody's going to bed and I must go too. In Warsaw, on the 
22nd. I shan't be there earlier — I will finish this letter orally 
and will embrace you heartily, dear Jasia. Now, from 20 miles 
away I press you to my lips and say goodbye till we meet. 
Your sincerest and most affectionate friend 

F. Chopin 

How I want to see you; I would go 2 weeks without playing 
to see you really, because mentally I see you every day. Don't 
show this letter, because I'm ashamed of it. I don't know 
whether there's any sense in it, because I haven't read it through. 



12. 
To Jan Białobłocki. 
[Warsaw] Thursday, [8] September [1825~\. 

Dear and Beloved Jasia! 

Extro, extra, extrissime I am delighted with your letter; read- 
ing it I at once remembered Sokołowo, that Sunday, the 

13 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

pantaleons, 1 the apples and other joyful past moments. But extro, 
extra, extrissime I am sorry to think that you have been won- 
dering over my long silence; that you never had the letter 
sent to Szafarnia by the returning coach. Don't be surprised; 
remember at what time I begin to write letters! Also how many 
shelves, and boxes, and cupboards there are, how many hun- 
dreds of pieces of music all in disorder on the piano, like peas 
and cabbage — even not counting the Hummels, and Rieses 
and Kalkbrenners (to whom fate has doubtless allotted a place, 
in so large a community, with Pleyel, Hemerleyn and Hoff- 
meister) : — all lying waiting for me! And what say Maciejow- 
ski, Jasiński, Matuszewski, Koncewicz, Dziekoński ! That future 
Maturitas! I hope I have accounted to you for my time during 
this last fortnight, by just reminding you of a few things; I 
hope no wigging awaits me in a letter from Sokołowo! — So, 
having now thrown off the heaviest burden; and it's a double 
burden, because I've not only made my excuses but also started 
my letter, which is always a difficulty for me (pardon my slip- 
ping a little into macaronism), I can go on to my real, literary, 
alias epistolary correspondence, and inform you, Firstly: that 
we are all well. Secondly, that we have a new " skubent," 2 a 
son of Tekla Czachowska's brother, and our nephew: Juliusz 
Czachowski, who keeps the house in fits of laughing by con- 
stantly addressing my sisters as " Aunt Zuzia, Aunt Ludwisia, 
Aunt Izabelka, Aunt Emilka, and me as Uncle Fryc. Thirdly, 
that the exhibitions are opening in Warsaw, both in the Town 
Hall and in the University. I don't tell you what is where, be- 
cause as yet there's nothing to see and I haven't seen anything; 
but very soon my goggles will behold jolis tableaux, jolis por- 
traits, jolies machines, bons pianos, bons draps, in short quelque 
chose d'excellent; 3 my paw shall describe them for you and 
the Dobrzynie messenger shall bring the description. As for 

1 The name properly belongs to a particular kind of 18th-century piano, but 
was frequently used for any kind of horizontal piano with hammers striking down- 
wards. 

2 Probably the servant's pronunciation of "student." Chopin's father took 
in pupils. 

3 pretty pictures, pretty portraits, pretty machines, good pianos, good cloth 
. . . something excellent. 

14 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

musical news, all we hear is that a certain noble gentleman 
named Gordon, the son of a woman who keeps a shop for 
mineral waters in Warsaw, and a pupil of Prague conserva- 
torium, is to come to Warsaw, and that his playing is as inter- 
esting as Eve's apple; about that I'll tell you later. That's the 
end of my news, and it's also got to be the end of my letter; 
otherwise there'd be an end of Thursday's letter-writing, for 
it's 4 o'clock already. Herewith I throw myself upon the favour 
of your Noble Excellency my Benefactor, and remain, as I was 
and even one better than I was, because longer. 

F. F. Chopin 



13. 

To the Same. 

Warsaw, [Sunday] 30 October 1825. 

Dear Jasia! 

Dear Jalko, — once more, dear Jasko! 

I suppose you're wondering why I haven't written to you 
for so long; don't be surprised; first read my last letter, and 
then the following: 

The day before yesterday, sitting at the table with a pen in 
my hand, I had just written " Dear Jasia " and the first sen- 
tence of a letter, which, as it was about music, I was reading 
with the utmost pomp to Żywny, as he sat over Górski, who 
was falling asleep at the piano. Żywny beating time, wiping 
his nose, twisting his handkerchief into a roll, poking it into 
the pocket of his clumsily made green coat, begins, adjusting 
his peruke, to ask: — "And to ivhom do you write that let- 
ter? " I answered: — " To Białobłocki." — " Huh, huh, to Mr. 
Bialoblocki? " — " Yes to Białobłocki." — " Where to? " — 
" To Sokołowo, as usual." — " And how is Mr. Bialoblocki, — 
do you know? " — " All right; his leg is better." — " What! bet- 
ter, huh, huh, — that s good; and has he written to you, Pan Frid- 
rich? " [sic] — " Yes," I answer, " but a long time ago." — 
" How long? " — " Why do you ask? " — " He, he, he, he, he, 

15 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

he! " giggles Żywny. I ask in surprise: — " Have you any news 
of him? " — " He, he, he, he, he, he " (he giggles harder, wag- 
ging his head). — " Has he written to you? " I ask. — " Yes," 
answers Żywny; and makes us miserable with the news that 
your leg is no better and that you have gone to Old Prussia for 
treatment. — " But where? " — " To Bischoffswerter." I never 
heard of the place before, and though such a name would have 
set me laughing at any other time, I just hated it this time, 
especially as you hadn't let me know anything about it; and 
anyhow it was your turn to write to me. So I stopped my cor- 
respondence there and then; and not knowing what to write, or 
how to write, or where to write to, was so late with my letter 
that it never reached the post. 

You see the casual way in which such important news has got 
round to me. I hope you'll forgive me for not having written by 
the last post. I should like to tell you some news, as it might 
amuse you ; but except for the following, I have none to tell. The 
Barber of Seville * (Le Barbier de Seville) was played on 
Saturday in the theatre, which is now under the direction of 
Dmuszewski, Kudlicz and Zdanowicz; I liked it very much. 
Zdanowicz, Szczurowski and Polkowski played well; also Asz- 
pergerowa and two other women: one sniggering and with a 
cold in the head; the other tearful, thin, in slippers and dress- 
ing-gown, always yawning in time to the music. Besides that, a 
certain Mr. Rembieliński, a nephew of the President, 2 has come 
to Warsaw from Paris. He has been there 6 years, and plays 
the piano as I have never yet heard it played. You can imagine 
what a joy that is for us, who never hear anything of real excel- 
lence here. He is not appearing as an Artist, but as an Amateur. 
I won't go into details about his quick, smooth, rounded play- 
ing; I will only tell you that his left hand is as strong as the 
right, which is an unusual thing to find in one person. There 
would not be space on a whole sheet to describe his exquisite 
talent adequately. Pani Dekert is rather feeble; the rest of us 
are all well. Adieu, my life; I must leave off; a job for Macek 

1 II Barbiere di Siviglia, Rossini. 1st performance 1816. 

2 Of the local educational commission. Alexander Rembieliński was a gifted 
pianist, who died young. [Op.] 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

is waiting for me. Write to me, my life ; I wish our letters could 
fly, like syncopations. 

Give me a kiss; I hug you heartily. 

F. F. Chopin 
(your loving friend) 

Buniamin [Benjamin?] asked after you, and was surprised 
that you have not written to him. Respects from all of us to your 
Papa. 

The whole household sends you a hug, and the children 
wish you better health. Mamma and Papa expect a letter telling 
them how you are, and embrace you heartily. 
N.B. When we asked Żywny why he had not told us about you, 
and he told us that he had said nothing because in the letter 
to him you had sent no message to us, he got a bad wigging 
from Mamma. 

Greetings from Pani Dekert and Cerzyńska. 



14. 

To the Same. 

Warsaw [November 1825] . 

Dear Jasia! 

Kostusia is in Warsaw, so I can't refrain from scribbling 
just a few lines to you. Though I have not managed to collect 
much news for you, I must give you what little there is, begin- 
ning with the following: I was badly upset on learning that 
you were worse; but am very happy to know that I shall soon 
see you quite well again. I do not envy you your hot treatments, 
but if I knew that it would get you well sooner, I myself, yes I 
myself, like you, would not shave for nearly two months. Ap- 
parently you never got that letter; it's of no consequence; but 
you will get it; I couldn't write to you at your Bischoffswerter, 
because I had not the address. But Kostusia will kindly send 
on this letter together with the other, if it has not already gone. 

17 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

As for how things go, that you know from my last letter 
that the Barber has been praised everywhere on the stage, 
and Freischiitz, which has been expected so long, is to be given. 
I have done a new polonaise on the Barber, which is fairly 
well liked; I think of sending it to be lithographed tomorrow. 
Ludwika has done a splendid mazurka, such as Warsaw has not 
danced for a long time. It's her non plus ultra, but really, it is 
also a non plus ultra of its type. It's springy, charming, in one 
word it's danceable; without boasting, it's exceptionally good. 
When you come, I'll play it for you. I am appointed organist 
to the Lyceum. So you see, my wife and all my children will 
have double cause to respect me. Aha, Noble Sir, what a head 
I've got! The most important person in the whole Lyceum, after 
his reverence the priest! 

Every Sunday I play the organ for the Wizytki * and the 
others sing. My life, it's hard for me to write any more to you 
this time, because I've got to fly to the Czetwertynski's, and be- 
sides that Kostusia is going away. I'll write more by post; and 
now, only that we all embrace you, especially I, your sin(cerest) 
fr(iend) 

F. F. Chopin 

Pani Dekert, Żywny, Bardz., Leszczyn, all send you kisses. 
[A postscript from Żywny, in German, is written on the back 
of this letter.] 



15. 

To the Same. 

[Żelazowa Wola, 2 Saturday, 24 December 1825.] 

Dear Jasia! 

You would never guess where this letter comes from ! Do you 
suppose it's from the back door of the Pavilion of the Kazimir 
Palace? No. But perhaps it's — um, um — Don't guess, it's no 
use; I'm writing from Żelazowa Wola. That's one riddle, solved, 

1 Nuns of the order of the Visitation. 

2 The Skarbek estate, where Chopin was born. 

18 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

but can you guess when I'm writing, when? And that you can't 
guess, so I must tell you: I'm writing, after getting out of a 
carriage and just sitting down to New Year's Eve supper. Fate 
decreed, and though Mamma didn't a bit want to allow me to 
go, it was all no use, and Ludwika and I are at Żelazowa Wola. 
New Year is coming, so I ought to send you good wishes, but 
for what? You have everything, so I will wish you nothing ex- 
cept health, which you must now try for. This year — that is 
1826 — I hope we shall meet. I don't write to you much, be- 
cause I've nothing to write about. I'm well, we're all well, 
I've had your letter, was pleased to get it, ask for more. You 
already know when I'm writing, so don't be surprised if it's 
short and dry, because I'm too hungry to write anything fat: 
non est plenus venter, itaque non scribit libenter, nisi ad te, 
cujus litteras quotidie expecto. 1 There's a proof that I haven't 
yet forgotten my Latin. But, but, if it hadn't been for that lunch 
at the Jaworek's I should have finished this letter before now. 
Papa and I were invited there the day before yesterday to a 
"lax" (not laxans). On receiving Jaworek's invitation, I at 
first thought he had been seized by diarrhoea and was offering 
me the same; but later, when the lax was brought out to show 
how big it was and how many persons could eat it, I found 
that it was a salmon (in German Lachs) which had been sent 
to him from Danzig. There were a lot of persons there; among 
others a noble gentleman called Czapek, a Czech pianist who 
had come from Vienna with Pani Rzewuska, and of whose play- 
ing I can't say much, and a certain Pan Żak (which means a 
Czech żak, 2 not a Polish one), from the Prague Conservatorium, 
who played the clarinet as I have never before heard it played. 
It will be enough if I tell you that he gets two notes at once 
with a single breath. 

Give me a kiss, My Life. I wish nothing for you but recovery. 
I hope you'll be better with every day; the wish of all our 
family, and especially of 

Me 

Your sincerest friend 

1 The belly is not full, therefore one does not write with pleasure, except to 
you, whose letters I daily expect. 

2 schoolboy. 

19 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



The whole household would send you greetings if they knew 
I was writing. I expect a letter. 
N.B. I'll be in Warsaw on Thursday. 



16. 

To the Same. 

Warsaw, [Sunday] 12 February 1826. 

Dear Jasia! 

I'm badly worried to have had no news of you for so long. 
It was still 1825 when I wrote to you, and this is 1826 and I 
have no letter! Only Panna Konstancja (alias Kostusia) in her 
letters to Ludwika — which, it is true, are more frequent than 
ours — sometimes drops a word about your health, of which, 
as you know, all our house wants to hear. Every Brieftrâger x 
(nota bene, not Pani Wyszyńska) raises our hopes when he 
comes into that blue courtyard ; but how he grieves us when we 
don't hear his boots on the stairs, or when the red postmark on 
the letter is not Dobrzyń but Radom or Lublin or something else. 
But really it is not the fault of the Brieftrâger, but of the Brief- 
schreiber, 2 who probably doesn't write only because he doesn't 
want to tire the poor fat man that has, all the same, to climb 
so high. But you don't need to be so considerate: it's pretty 
cold weather, nobody is grumbling at the heat; one only hears 
people complaining of the cold; so it really won't do any 
harm, dear Jasia, if you make him stir his stumps even twice 
before Easter. After this observation I expect that I have ensured 
an answer to this letter. I would like to have answers both to 
this and to my last letter; but that I leave to your graciousness ; 
knowing the generosity of the King (once upon a time 3 ) I 
don't doubt the result of my petition. 

1 letter-carrier, postman. 

2 letter-writer. 

3 Possibly a reference to Bialoblocki's part in amateur theatricals. [Op.] 

20 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I don't write about Staszyc, 1 because I know that the papers 
have given you all sorts of details about his richly poor funeral. 
I will only mention that the Academicians carried him from 
Holy Cross, all the way to Bielany, where he had wished to be 
buried; that Skarbek made a speech by the grave, that his 
coffin was stripped through love and enthusiasm, that I have 
for a keepsake a bit of the pall with which the bier was covered, 
and that 20,000 persons accompanied the corpse. On the way 
there were several fisticuffing encounters, both with the shop- 
keepers, who wanted to insist on carrying the remains of the 
Honoured Man, and with other citizens who also were deter- 
mined to take the corpse away from the Academicians. I can't 
remember whether I told you of the death of Dybek; it is said 
that Niemcewicz is failing. Everybody's falling ill, and I too. 
You maybe suppose that all this scribbling is being done at a 
table; you're wrong, it's from under my quilt, and comes out 
of a head that's tied up in a nightcap because it's been aching, 
I don't know why, for the last four days. They have put leeches 
on my throat because the glands have swelled, and our Roemer 
says it's a catarrhal affection. It's true that from Saturday to 
Thursday I was out every evening, till 2 in the night; but it's 
not that, because I always slept it off in the morning. I should 
bore you if I wrote any more about such an illness to you who 
are so much more ill, therefore I will fill up the remainder of 
this paper with something else. Your Papa has been in Warsaw, 
came to us and to Bruner [sic], and ordered a choraleon 2 for 
the church. I wanted to send you a letter by him, but he had 
gone, and our letters were left in Warsaw. Adieu, dear Jasia, 
and please write to your sincere friend 

F. F. Chopin 

Mamma and Papa, all the children and Zuzia wish you a quick 
recovery. 

1 Stanisław Staszyc: Polish statesman, philanthropist and man of science: 
1755-1826. The Hrubiesz several times referred to is the estate which he bought 
in order to free the 4,000 peasant inhabitants from serfdom and set them up as 
small holders. 

2 Choraleon, or eolimelodikon; invented by a Polish professor, J. F. Hoffmann. 
Brunner was the maker of the instruments for Hoffmann. [Hoes. J 

21 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Father Benjamin has been to see me ; he sent greetings to you. 
He will begin teaching on Wednesday. 

Żywny, Pani Dekert, Bardziński, Pan Leszczyński and all: 
N.B. Bardziński has left us; his Magister examination comes 
off soon, and he would have no quiet to write his thesis ; but we 
have another Academicus from Lublin, a worthy successor to 
the good Antoś! 

In answer to your greeting, Papa sends you a thousand wishes 
for good health, that it may come soon. 

Marylski brought the letter long ago, but is going only today. 

[Last three words difficult to read] 



17. 

To the Same. 

[Warsaw] 2nd day of Whitsuntide. 

[Monday, 15 May 1826.] 

Dear, Beloved Jasio! 

I am really ashamed to have been so long in answering your 
letter; but various circumstances which have steadily pursued 
me (I think you can understand my condition this year, because 
you yourself have had to go through it) just didn't allow me to 
do as I wished to do. Your commission is partly executed ; I've 
bought the music for you; as far as I can judge by my own 
taste, it should give you pleasure in the house. As for Glucks- 
berg, Papa himself went to him. But he told Papa that he takes 
subscriptions only by the month, that he has no catalogue yet and 
can't supply more than a few works. It might still come off, but 
he demands a thaler a month; the worst is that one doesn't 
know which few works to choose, until the catalogue comes. 
Though I have bought the music, I have not yet given it to 
Wysocki. It's all Euterpe : — that is, a collection of airs and 
other pieces by Rossini, arranged, very well, for the piano at 
Diabelli's in Vienna (this work answers to " Philomel " for 
singing), and a Polonaise of Kaczkowski, very good, beauti- 

22 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

ful, that you can listen to and rejoice in (and also exercise your 
fingers, which have doubtless gone stiff, if I may say so) ; in 
addition, as you wished, some of my own scrawls. All these will 
be at Wysocki's this week without fail. 

You wouldn't believe, how joyful I am that you have taken 
flight from your Bishopric. 1 I say, joyful — that is, in one way; 
but in another way it has grieved me. It appears, Most Noble 
Mr. Jan, that you have imbibed a lot of German virtue; a 
long time ago you invited me and now you advise me not to 
leave here! See what that confounded miserliness leads to! I 
wish, since you learned it, that you had never gone to Bischoffs- 
werter; my intentions, my best plans and projects have now 
gone to pieces; and the person that I thought I could count on, 
begins to think in this economical and miserly way. It's true, 
I'm in no condition to slang you as you deserve; but what is 
put off is not put away. If not now, then later, I shall claim 
satisfaction: nota bene, not with a bullet; you would win on 
that, because I've given mine to Rogoziński, who seems able to 
paint something. Rogoziński makes me think of Podbielski, of 
whose misfortune I must tell you. About 3 months ago, when 
he was here . . . 2 the wind caught him, and paralysis set in. 
He can use neither hand nor foot, though Zabiello is doing his 
utmost for him; but there is some hope of recovery, as he is 
already a little better; electricity has helped him a good deal. 
I fairly often see that Rembielinski of whom I wrote to you ; you 
would not believe how beautifully he plays ; he came to see me 
lately, to my great delight. As for the news of Warsaw, you 
have the Courier. For personal news I can tell you only that 
Col. Gutkowski, at whose house I hurt my foot, is dead; that 
Zubelewicz has a daughter; that Jarocki has got married in 
Podolia and brought his wife here straight from the wedding; 
that on Sunday, a week ago today, I went to the Zamoyskis', 
where nearly the whole evening was spent in admiring Dlugosz's 
Eolipantaleon ; 3 Długosz has sold it to a certain Mniewski (who 

1 Bischoffswerter. 

2 Margin of letter injured; a word unreadable. 

3 A musical instrument, combination of pianoforte and choraleon; invented by 
Długosz, a skilled artisan, and made by Brunner. On the inventor's invitation, 
Chopin improvised publicly on this instrument in 1825, with great success. [Op.] 

23 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

used to go to Pani Pruska's in a beige coat, and who is now 
getting married) ; that Kosiński has died, that Woelke has a 
daughter, that Domowicz lately came to Warsaw and sent 
greetings to you; that Zakrzewski is in Warsaw; that I have 
a little cupboard for my music; finally that my boots are in 
holes and I have to wear shoes. Would anybody suppose that I 
should start off for Bielany in the manner of our watchman, 
who has just come to ask Mamma for permission [. . .] that 
Bielany [. . .J 1 lots of people this year. My Botanical Garden, 
the old one, alias behind the palace, has been beautifully done 
up by the Commission. There are no more carrots that used to 
be so nice to eat beside the spring; nor sandwiches, nor arbours, 
nor salads, nor cabbages, nor bad smells; only flower-beds à la 
manière anglaise. 2 I have now written down everything that 
could come into my head in a quarter of an hour, so nothing is 
left to me but to assure you that towards you I am always I and 
shall always be I as long as I live. 

Mamma and Papa and I send our respects to your Papa, and 
greetings to you, because you have no claim to respect as yet. 
Kiss Panna Konstancja's face from all the children, and her 
hands from me. 

Pani Dekert, Żywny, Bardz. — etc., etc. — send greetings. 

Perhaps you can't read this, as you haven't read a letter from 
me for a long time ; but forgive me ; I am hurrying to catch the 
post and have no time to read it over. 

F. F. Chopin 



18. 

To the Same. 
[Warsaw, June 1826.] 

Dear Jasia! 

Don't expect to find this letter the usual name-day compli- 
ments: all those showy feelings, exclamations, apostrophes, 

1 Margin injured, words unreadable. [Op.3 

2 in the English style. 

24 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

pathetic bits and similar rubbish, nonsense, stuff, and piffle. 
They are good enough for heads that can find trivial phrases in 
the absence of friendship ; but when people have a tie of eleven 
years of friendship, when they have counted the months to- 
gether 132 times, have begun 468 weeks, 3960 days, 95,040 
hours, 5,702,400 minutes, 342,144,000 seconds together, they 
don't need reminders, or complimentary letters, because they'll 
never write what they want to write. 

Starting therefore, ad rem, I begin with the matter in hand; 
and first I want to get out the thing I can't digest ; which is that 
your Nobility has not written to me for several months. Why? 
What for? Cur? Warum? Pourquoi? It annoys me very much, 
and if I don't see an improvement there'll be trouble. That I 
can't write very often counts for nothing; you know that I am 
swatting for a diploma, but that sausage isn't for this dog; we 
hear a good deal about one-year students. 1 

Operant et oleum perdidi, 2 if you remember Tyrocinium. 3 But 
apparently it's no use, to spoil my paper; I might as well write 
you good news instead of bad. Ecce homo! A person turned 
up in the world yesterday; Linde, Linde has got a successor. 
We're all pleased, and I hope you will share our joy. We often 
hear news in our barracks, 4 as you know well from my last 
letter. 

There's a lot said about Freischiitz 5 being given in two or 
three weeks; it seems to me that it will make quite a noise in 
Warsaw. Apparently there will be many performances, and 
that is right. It certainly is much if our opera can manage to 
give Weber's splendid work. But considering the aim towards 
which Weber was striving in the Freischiitz, his German origin, 
that strange romanticism and the extremely subtle harmony, 
peculiarly suited to German taste; one may gather that the 
Warsaw public, accustomed to Rossini's light airs, is likely at 

1 Chopin was one of the "one-year students," for whom the normal two years 
in Class 6 was reduced to one. He did not, however, take the examination but went 
to Reinertz, for his health, before the date. [Op.] 

2 I have lost labour and oil. 

3 A Latin primer used in the school. [Op.] 

4 The Casimir Palace in Warsaw, commonly known as "The Cadets' Barracks," 
having once been used as a school for cadets. [Op.] 

5 Weber: Der Freischiitz. 1st performance 1819. 

25 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

first to praise it not from conviction but just in accordance with 
expert opinion, because Weber is praised everywhere [. . .] * 

Ecce femina, non homo; 2 the rector has a daughter. Although 
it was yesterday declared to be a son, and only today a daugh- 
ter, it is the latter statement that is correct. Yesterday we had 
a visit from an important man, Pan Kozicki, who applied leeches 
to one of the boys and talked a lot about the alimentary and 
laryngeal canals and the Adam's apple, because it was on the 
throat that he did the operation. He was in coloured stockings, 
dirty boots, etc. — with, as usual, a poor shirt and a new, or 
rather renovated hat. Please do let me know whether you re- 
ceived the music. I have not sent you any of my scrawls, but 
instead of that the waltzes of Aleksander Rembieliński, which 
I think you will like; and if any of them should at first appear 
to you too difficult, just get to work hard with your stiff fingers 
(because I suppose you didn't play at Bischofïsweder) [sic] 
and you will see that they are worthy of you, that is, as beauti- 
ful as you. Don't think that I have written the last comma in the 
spirit of Pliny ; habit counts for a lot, and a dog sometimes ap- 
pears beautiful to his master. — Ha, ha, ha ! — what a meta- 
morphosis; the master is the dog and the dog the master! That's 
only for a moment; no dog is more faithful than I. Pod- 
bielski is better, though he has twice had a bad scare since 
his attack. About a month ago, walking in the street, I saw a 
carriage overturn at the corner of Kozie St. I ran up and found 
Podbielski on the ground ; it was the first time he had ventured 
out for air. Luckily someone was with him in the carriage and 
got him, with difficulty, into another one. 

If you knew what changes there are in our Botanical Garden, 
you'd hold your head (in astonishment) — They have put such 
flower-beds, paths, plantations, shrubs and so on, that it's a 
pleasure to go in, especially as we have a key. If this letter 
seems to you rather wild, don't be surprised, because I'm not 
well. If you find nothing about the holidays, don't be surprised, 
because I'll write about that in my next letter. If I don't send 
you my clavi-cembalo rubbish, don't be surprised, because 



1 Word illegible. 

2 Behold a woman, not a man. 



26 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

that's me. If you expect any messages from home, read the 
following. Both Mamma and Papa, both my sisters and our 
friends, tell me to send their sincere good wishes. Only from 
Ludwika there's no message, because she has been in the coun- 
try at Pani Skarbek's for the last two weeks. We expect her 
today or tomorrow. Domowicz was in Warsaw the day before 
yesterday. Żywny is all right; Pani Dekert is not well. Bardziń- 
ski sends special greetings. Live happily, my dear, beloved 
Jasia; I expect a letter, I embrace you heartily. 

F. F. Chopin 

Respects to your Papa from the whole House. Kisses on the 
face to Panna Konstancja from the children, and on the hand 
from me. 

If you see Szafarnia, Plone, Gulbiny, Radomin, Ornowka, 
remember my name, look at the potatoes and say mournfully: 
" Here once he entered bravely with a horse, here the . . . [ ? 
word doubtful] came to his aid." 



19. 

To Wilhelm Kolberg in Warsaw. 
Reinertz, 18 August [1826]. 

Dear Wilus' ! 

After passing through Błonie, Sochaczew, Łowicz, Kutno, 
Kłodawa, Koło, Turka, Kalisz, Ostrów, Międzybórz, Oleśnica, 
Wrocław [Breslau], Nimsch, Frankenstein, Warta and Glatz, 
we reached Reinertz, where we are staying. I have been drink- 
ing whey and the local waters for two weeks, and they say that 
I am looking a little better, but I am said to be getting fat, and 
am as lazy as ever, to which you can ascribe the long lethargy 
of my pen. But believe me, when you learn about my mode of 
life, you will agree that it is difficult to find a moment for sitting 
at home. In the morning, at 6 o'clock at the latest, all the patients 
are at the wells; then there's an atrocious band of wind players: 

27 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

a dozen caricatures of various types collected together; the 
head one, a thin bassoonist with a snuffy, spectacled nose, 
frightens all the ladies that are afraid of horses by playing to 
the freely perambulating Kur-Gaste. Then there's a sort of 
rout, or rather masquerade; not everybody in masks, those are 
only a small proportion, besides those who " get hanged for 
company." 1 This promenade, along the beautiful avenues that 
connect the Establishment with the town, usually lasts till 8, or 
according to the number of glasses that people have to drink 
in the morning. Then everyone goes home to breakfast. After 
breakfast people usually go for a walk. I walk till 12 ; then one 
has to eat dinner, because after dinner one has to go back to 
Brunn. After dinner there's usually a bigger masquerade than 
in the morning, because everyone is dressed up, all in different 
clothes from those of the morning. Again there's vile music, 
and so it goes till evening. As I have to drink only two glasses 
of Lau-Brunn after dinner I get home to supper fairly early. 
After supper I go to bed. So when can I write letters? 

There you have my days, as they go, one after another. They 
go so fast that I have been here a long time and have not seen 
everything yet. 

It's true I walk on the hills that surround Reinertz; often I 
am so delighted with the view of these valleys that I hate to 
come down, which I sometimes do on all fours. But I have not 
yet been for the excursions that everybody takes, because it's 
forbidden to me. Near Reinertz there is a mountain with rocks 
known as Heu-Scheuer, from which there is a wonderful view; 
but the air at the very top is not good for everybody, and 
unluckily I am one of those patients to whom it is not allowed. 
But never mind that. I have already been on the mountain 
called Einsiedelei, where there is a hermitage. You go to the 
top of one of the highest hills near here, and climb up about 
150 steps in a straight line, cut out of the stone almost vertically, 
to the hermitage, from which there is a splendid view all over 
Reinertz. We expect to go up a certain Hohemenze, a hill said to 
be in beautiful surroundings ; I hope it will come off. 

But it's useless to bore you with these descriptions, from 

1 A Polish and Russian proverb: "and the Jew hanged himself for company." 

28 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

which you can't get much idea of the thing, because not every- 
thing lends itself to description. As for the ways of the place, 
I am already so used to them that nothing now worries me. At 
first it seemed strange to me that in Silesia the women work 
more than the men ; but as I don't do anything myself, it's easy 
for me to acquiesce in that. 

There have been plenty of Poles in Reinertz, but now the 
company is thinning; nearly all there were are acquaintances of 
mine. A good deal of social gaiety goes on between the families ; 
even the most important German names join in the drawing- 
room amusements. In the house where we lodge there is a 
certain lady from Wrocław; her children, lively and intelligent 
youngsters, talk a little French. They want to talk Polish, so 
one of them, a friend of mine, begins to me: — " Zien dobry." x 
I answered : " Dobry dzień," and as I liked the boy, I told him 
how to say : " Dobry Wieczór." 2 By the next day he was so 
muddled that instead of " Dobry Dzień," he said : " Zien Wie- 
sior." I didn't know how he got it to that, and had quite a job 
to explain to him that it's not " Zien Wieczór," but " dobry 
wieczór." 

I've taken up too much of your time; perhaps you'd rather 
be doing something else. But I'm just finishing. I'm going to 
the Brunn for two glasses of water and a gingerbread, whereby 
I remain for always 

The same as always 

Fr. Chopin 

Dziewanowski has written to me; I think of answering tomor- 
row. He says he has written to you too. He's a good fellow not 
to have forgotten. Alfred Kurnatowski has been here with his 
parents and sisters; I think Fontana knows him; tell him he left 
the day before yesterday. 

My respects to your papa and mamma. 

I really don't know what I've written to you; I know it's a 
lot, but I don't want to read it over. 

1 Dzień dobry: good day. 

2 good evening. 



29 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
20. 

[In French] 

To Jozef Elsner in Warsaw. 
Reinertz, August [1826]. 

Dear Sir, 

Since our arrival in Reinertz, I have been promising myself 
the pleasure of writing to you; but, as my time is entirely 
taken up by the cure, it has been impossible for me to do so 
till now, and it is only today that I have managed to steal away 
for a moment and give myself up to the pleasure of conversing 
with you, and at the same time to render you an account of 
what I have done with the commissions which you were so 
kind as to give me. I have tried to do my best about them; I 
have delivered the letter addressed to Herr Latzel, with which 
he was much pleased; as for Herr Schnabel and Herr Breuer, 
they will not receive your letters till I return by way of Breslau. 
Your kindness and the keen interest which you have taken in 
me, make me believe that it will not be indifferent to you if I 
tell you what is the state of my health. The fresh air and the 
whey which I take very conscientiously have set me up so well 
that I am quite different from what I was in Warsaw. The 
magnificent views offered by beautiful Silesia enchant and 
charm me ; but one thing is lacking, for which not all the beauties 
of Reinertz can compensate me: a good instrument. 

Imagine, Sir, that there is not one good piano, and all that 
I have seen are instruments which cause me more distress than 
pleasure; fortunately this martyrdom will not last much longer, 
the moment of our farewells at Reinertz approaches, and we 
expect to start back on the 11th of next month. But, before I 
have the pleasure of seeing you, allow me, Sir, to assure you of 
my highest respect. 

F. F. Chopin 

Mamma sends her respects to you. 

Please also remember me to Madame your wife. 

30 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



21. 



To Jan Białobłocki. 

Warsaw [Saturday], 2 November [1826], 

Dear Jasia! 

I never noticed how these 3 months were flying; it doesn't 
seem long since I sent you a letter, yet there it is; I admit the 
fault myself; I confess that a quarter of a year has grown old 
since then. It is a most merciful action on your part to be 
pleased to pardon me; your graciousness reaches to the clouds! 
— But as for mine, that's quite another story. I proclaim my 
wrath, wrath to be assuaged by nothing, except one scrap of 
paper, for which like a fool, I wait to this day. Glory be to 
God, a scribble on the 20th from Sokołowo ; nothing more, and 
today's the 2nd. Don't you know what interests me more than 
all your grain and potatoes and horses? Pause! Repent! Turn 
to the blessed means indicated above, and : petenti veniam dabo. 1 

As for Brunner, the following fact explains the verses : As the 
choraleon has been quite finished for a month, and he had no 
news from your Papa, he took it to pieces, and is now putting 
it together again, as I told him that I should like to see it. He 
says that he thinks your Papa will be pleased; that it has 
remained here all this time because he has invented certain im- 
provements (of which he talked a lot to me), which he has 
added to it. I have not yet seen it, so I can't describe it to you 
in detail; but I shall soon see it, and will let you know by 
post. About the money due to him, he will give his view him- 
self, in the letter to your Papa which is now in the post (unless 
he has received it; written the 20th). Well, what of it? This 
of it, that you see the commission, or trust, has been excellently 
fulfilled. Now ask since when I've had such activitas? A short 
answer: Since Sokołowo, for really I got so fat, so lazy, that, 
in one word, I don't want to do anything, anything at all. Learn, 
my life, by these presents. That I don't go to the Lyceum. Really 

1 I will give pardon to the penitent. 

31 



chopin's letters 



it would be stupid to sit perforce for 6 hours a day, when both 
German and German-Polish doctors have told me to walk as 
much as possible; it would be stupid to listen to the same things 
twice over when one can be learning something new during 
this year. Meanwhile I go to Eisner for strict counterpoint, 6 
hours a week; I hear Brodziński, Bentkowski and others, on 
subjects connected in any way with music. I go to bed at 9. All 
teas, evenings and balls are off. I drink an emetic water by 
Malcz's orders, and feed myself only on oatmeal quasi a horse. 
But the air here is not so good for me as at Reinertz. They make 
up a tale that perhaps next year I may have to repeat the lau 
Brunn, 1 anyway as a formality! But it's a far cry to that; and 
probably Paris would be better for me than the Bohemian 
frontier. Bardziński is leaving before this year is out, and 
I — perhaps in 50 years' time. 

As God sends. Give a kiss, dear Jasia ; more by post. 

F. F. Chopin 

The paper I am writing to you on is from Reinertz. 
Żywny, Pani Dekert, in a word, all our friends greet you. 
Our respects to the Papa, and I thank him for his kind post- 
script. 
PP. To the Dziewanowskis, Białobł., Cissow. etc. 

I will write by post to Panna Konstancja from Ludwika and 
all of them. 

[Postmark:] Warsaw, 2 October, 

A Monsieur, M. Jean Białobłocki 
à Sokołowo. 



22. 
To the Same. 
Warsaw, [Monday] 8 [January 1827]. 

Respected Pan Jan! 

You are not worthy, you scoundrel! Forgive me for being 
compelled to use in my indignation a title so justly belonging 

1 The medicinal spring. 

32 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

to you — You are not worthy that I should extend to you a 
hand with a pen in it! This is your gratitude for the bloody 
sweat of the brow of my excellence, for the fatigue and toil I 
have endured in buying Mickiewicz, or those tickets? This your 
response to my New Year wishes? Yes, pause; and confess 
that I am right in saying you are not worthy that I should ex- 
tend a hand to you! The only motive which impels me to write 
to you today is to acquit myself of the suspicion or judgment 
which might fall on me on account of the money left with me. 
Perhaps you think that I spent it during the carnival at some 
friend's little ball, or that I have converted the rites of 
Bach [us] * into something worthy of a son of Apollo? Mistaken 
notion! Low thoughts! Bosh! I have bought you (for nothing) 
two airs from Freischiitz, with which you ought to be pleased. It 
is true that they are for a female voice ; they are sung by Kupiń- 
ska and Aszpergerowa ; but as I know, or at least can imagine, 
how squeakily you must sing, my dear life, when your leg 
hurts you (I don't know anything about it) — they are just the 
thing for you. Transpose the voice part an octave lower, and 
it will be for a tenor voice, like yours if I remember rightly. 
The two together cost 2 zlotys, so how much have I left? I must 
do an arithmetical calculation (imagine Tarczyński at an ex- 
amination of the elementary class). For instance: Somebody 
had 3 zlotys, spent 2, how much has he left? eh? 2 from 3 leaves 
1, so there remains 1 złoty, or 30 gr., or 90 szelągi. I should 
like to spend it on something interesting for you; it will prob- 
ably be from the Italian, 2 so that you shall have something 
fashionable. So far nothing has been engraved; but as I have 
not been to Brzezyna's 3 for 4 days, I may get something tomor- 
row, and if so will try whether Dziewanowski can still take it 
with him. Excellent intention ! The result of it will appear when 
you open the score; you ought to be as much interested, in the 
past now, as I am today in the future! I also send you my 
mazurka, of which you have heard; later perhaps you'll get 
another; it would be too many pleasures at once. They are 

1 Possibly this may be a pun on Bach and Bacchus? 

2 Probably a reference to Bossini's opera: L'llaliana in Algeria, which had 
been performed in Warsaw with great success in Dec. 1826. [Op. J 

3 A music-shop frequented by Chopin. [Op. J 

33 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

already published; meanwhile I am leaving my Rondo, that I 
wanted to have lithographed, stifling among my papers, though 
it is earlier and therefore has more right to travel. It's having 
the same luck as I ! 

The sledging is fairly good; they have been running about 
Warsaw with little bells for 4 days; there have even been a 
few accidents, such as usually accompany these moments. For 
instance: a shaft hit some lady on the head and killed her, 
horses have bolted, sledges have been smashed, and so on. 
The masked ball on New Year's Eve is said to have been fine. 
I have never yet attended one of these entertainments, so I 
have the desire and hope to go this year with Bardziński. Pani 
Szymanowska gives a concert this week. It is to be on Friday, 
and the prices are raised; they say the parterre is to be half a 
ducat, the stalls a ducat, and so on. I shall be there for sure, 
and will tell you about her reception and playing. 

Write to me! Give me a kiss, Dear Life. 

F. F. Chopin 

Mamma is not well; she has been in bed for 4 days; she suf- 
fers much from rheumatism. She is a little better now, and we 
hope that God will give her complete recovery. 
Respects to your Papa from us. 



23. 

To the Same. 

Warsaw. Monday, 14 March [1827]. 

Beloved Jasia! 

Are you alive? Or not? Glory be to God; it's more than 3 
months since you wrote a word to me. My worthy name-day 
has gone by and I haven't had a letter. All this appears to con- 
firm the tale that is told about you in Warsaw with mourning 
and tears. And do you know what they say? They say that you're 

34 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

dead! We had all blubbered (for nothing), Jçdrzejewicz 1 had 
written a panegyric for the Courier, and suddenly came the 
thunderclap, that you're alive! Yes, actually alive! As pleasant 
news penetrates more easily into hearts desiring consolation, 
we decided that the last thing people were saying was likely 
to be the right one. So, having dried my tear-swollen eyelids, 
I take up my pen to inquire of you, are you alive or did you 
die? If you are dead, please let me know, and I will tell the 
cook, for ever since she heard about it she has been saying her 
prayers. It may be a case of Cupid's dart; for, though she is 
an aged dame, our Józefowa, 2 all the same, when you were in 
Warsaw you impressed her so that (on hearing of your death) 
she kept on repeating for a long while : — " What a young 
gentleman that was! Handsomer than all the other young gentle- 
men that come here! Neither Pan Wojciechowski, nor Pan 
Jędrzejewicz is so handsome, none of them, none! Lord! how 
he once ate up a whole cabbage from the market, just for 
naughtiness ! " — Aha, aha ! A wonderful Threnody ! It's a 
pity Mickiewicz 3 isn't here; he would have written a Ballad 
called " The Cook." Well now, leaving all that aside, I'll come 
to the point: We have illness in the house. Emilja has been in 
bed for 4 weeks; she has got a cough and has begun to spit 
blood and Mamma is frightened. Malcz ordered bloodletting. 
They bled her once, twice; leeches without end, vesicators, 
sinapisms, wolfsbane [?]; horrors, horrors! — All this time 
she has been eating nothing; she has grown so thin that you 
wouldn't know her, and is only now beginning to come to her- 
self a little — You can imagine what it has been like in the 
house. You'll have to imagine it, because I can't describe it for 
you. Now about other subjects. 

The Carnival is over, which is sad. Old Benik is dead; you 
can guess what that has meant for Papa ! His daughter Klemen- 
tyna, who married Dolbyszew, has also died, before she had 
lived with her husband for nine months. In a word, the most 
miserable things have happened, to sadden our house. The last 

1 Kalasanty Jędrzejewicz, later Chopin's brother-in-law. 

2 Wife of Joseph. 

3 Adam Mickiewicz 1798(9i>)-1855. 

35 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

straw was the story from hell, or at least I don't know where 
else it came from — about your death. That one cost me not 
only tears, but money as well. Naturally, on learning of it 
(imagine, if you were to hear of my death) — (N.B. I am 
alive) — I wept so much that I got a headache; and as it was 
8 in the morning and my Italian comes at 11, 1 couldn't have my 
lesson. That's several zlotys (Wojciechowski and Weltz were 
quite upset) ; the next day, to cheer me up, they made me go 
to the theatre. Again several zlotys! So you might let me know 
whether you really are dead. I await a letter, for I can't write 
any more; it's 4 o'clock. 
Give me a kiss, beloved Jal. 

F. F. Chopin 

Brunner thinks of sending the Choraleon shortly by the 
Vistula; write if you want him not to do it, or anything; this 
German doesn't know what he's doing. The best thing would be 
for your Papa to write to him. 

We all embrace you after your resurrection. 

My respects to the Papa. 



24. 

To Jan Matuszyński in Warsaw, 
Warsaw [1827]. 

Dear Jasia! 

What has happened that we haven't met for so long? I expect 
you every day, and find that you don't come; just because I 
want to speak to you about this: As the weather is so bad now, 
I should like to make a fair copy of the piano part of the varia- 
tions, and I can't do it without your copy. Would you please 
bring it to me tomorrow, and the day afterwards you shall have 
both. 

Your 
F. F. Chopin 
36 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



25. 

To Tytus Wojciechowski in Potruzyń. 
From Warsaw, 9 September 1828. 

Dear Tytus! 

You can't believe how I have been longing for news of you 
and your Mother; so you can imagine how pleased I was to 
get your letter. I got it at the Pruszak's in Sanniki ; I have been 
there all summer. I won't write about my visit, because you 
have been in Sanniki yourself. I couldn't answer at once be- 
cause we were expecting to start for home every day. I'm writ- 
ing now in a half crazy state, because I really don't know what's 
happening to me. I am starting today for Berlin; it's for an 
opera of Spontini; I'm going, by diligence, to test my strength. 
The cause of all this is a set of monkeys from all the Cabinets 
of Europe. In imitation of the congresses in the Swiss Cantons, 
and later in Munich, the King of Prussia has empowered his 
University to invite the leading learned men of Europe for a 
session of naturalists, with the famous Humboldt for president. 
Jarocki, as a former pupil of the Berlin Academy, whose doc- 
torate he now holds, has been invited as a zoologist. Lodgings 
have been taken in Berlin for 200 naturalists; they are to 
have board in common, etc. German arrangements of course; 
also invitations printed on vellum paper, very important; and 
Spontini is to give either Cortez or Olimpia. 1 A certain Lichten- 
stein, friend and teacher of Jarocki, and secretary of the con- 
ference, was an intimate friend of Weber, is a member of the 
Sing-Akademie, and according to Ernemann, is in good rela- 
tions with Zelter, who directs the music department. Good 
friends in Berlin tell me that, knowing Lichtenstein, I shall meet 
the most important musicians of Berlin, with the exception of 
Spontini, with whom he apparently does not associate. I wish 
I could meet the Poznań [Posen] Radziwiłł there (of that there 
seems to be a doubt) ; he's hand in glove with Spontini. I shall 

1 Spontini (G. L. P.) 1774-1851. His operas had a great vogue at that time. 
Fernand Cortez was first produced in 1809; Olimpia in 1819. 

37 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

be there only two weeks, with Jarocki ; but it's good to hear first- 
class opera even once ; it gives one a conception of fine technique. 
Arnold, Mendelson [sic] and Hank are the pianists there; the 
last is a pupil of Hummel. When I get back, I'll tell you what 
I've seen; but now, at your request, I will write you Warsaw 
news. Firstly: Colli and Mme Tusaint appeared in " The Bar- 
ber " a few weeks ago. It happened that I came to Warsaw 
from Sanniki for a few days just then with Kostuś. I was ex- 
tremely anxious to see that one act (they played only the first) 
in Italian; I rubbed my hands for joy all day long. But in the 
evening, if it hadn't been for Tusa, I should have murdered 
Colli. He was such an Arlechino [sic] italiano, and so out of 
tune, that it was abominable. It's enough to say that in one exit 
he went head over heels. Imagine Colli, in short breeches, with 
a guitar, in a round white hat, on the floor, Oh, shame ! " The 
Barber " went disgracefully. Zdanowicz sang the best, in this 
slander. A new opera, Telemachus, has been, or was to be 
played. I didn't see it; I know there have been rehearsals, but 
I didn't attend, so I can't tell you anything. I think you have 
not yet seen Othello; and you have praised Polkowski, who 
is at his best in that opera. Mme Meyer is singing as usual. 
Mme Zimmermann is already playing and apparently begin- 
ning to study. But that's enough of theatricals; now about the 
University. Oborski, who gave me a scare over your departure: 
— he burst into the room where we were all assembled for the 
rehearsal of the Corpus Domini choruses, and in a rather wild 
manner told me that you wanted him to say goodbye to me as 
you had had to leave in the night: — Oborski seems to be in 
Baden. So Gąsie told me; I was with him yesterday, on the 
Luther tower of the church, to watch the review on the Wola. 
Gąsie has been in Cracow, and has a lot to tell about it; he was 
robbed on the journey; he tells the adventure most pathetically. 
Today I met Obniski; he is well, asked a lot about you, where 
you are, when you're coming back; and sent messages to you. 
Pruszak, who brought me back on Thursday, went home again 
on Saturday, to start for Gdańsk [Danzig] on Sunday. Pani 
Pruszak started the day before. Kostuś and I have been at your 
lodging, but I didn't try the piano, for Kostuś didn't know where 

38 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

to find the key of it ; from its appearance I don't think anything 
has gone wrong with it; it looked quite healthy. About your 
things, whether they have been moved or not, and so on, you 
will hear from Kostuś, who will no doubt write to you. At 
Sanniki I re-wrote the C-major Rondo the last one, if you remem- 
ber, for 2 pianofortes; x Ernemann and I tried it today at 
Bucholtz's and it went fairly well. We think of playing it some 
day at the Resource. 2 

About my new compositions; I have nothing but a G-minor 
Trio 3 begun shortly after you left and not yet quite finished. I 
tried the first Allegro with the accompaniment, before I went 
to Sanniki; now that I'm back I think of trying the rest. I ex- 
pect this Trio to have the same luck as my Sonata and Varia- 
tions. They are already at Leipzig; the first, as you know, is 
dedicated to Eisner ; on the second — perhaps too boldly — I 
have put your name. My heart asked for it and our friendship 
permitted it, so don't be angry. Skarbek has not come back yet. 
Jędrzejewicz is going to stay a year in Paris. He has got 
to know Sowiński ; that pianist who has written a few words to 
me, saying that before he comes to Warsaw, he would like to 
know me in advance by correspondence; that, as he is on the 
editorial staff of the Parisian periodical: Revue Musicale, 
publiée par M. Fetis, he would be glad to have some informa- 
tion about the state of music in Poland, about what prominent 
polish musicians there are, about their lives, etc. I'm not going 
to mix up with it. I shall write to him from Berlin that I 
don't undertake such things, especially as Kurpiński has begun 
to occupy himself to some extent with it. Besides, I have not 
yet judgment enough for a leading Parisian paper, which must 
publish only the truth; I have heard opera neither well nor 
badly done. I should hurt many people's feelings! Kurpiński is 
now in Cracow ; Żyliński is conducting the opera ; it is said that 
Freischutz was abominably given yesterday. The choir singers 
were a beat behind each other. Father says I shall lose my high 
opinion of foreign lands; I will tell you that for certain in a 

1 Op. 73; posthumous; edited by Fontana. [Op.] 

8 A concert hall. 

3 Op. 73; posthumous; edited by Fontana. [Op.] 

39 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

month's time ; I shall be leaving Berlin at the end of this month. 
Five days in a diligence! If I fall ill I shall come home by 
extra post. And I'll let you know. I forgot one bit of important 
news: Albrecht is dead. With us all goes on as usual; the good 
Żywny is the life of everything. This year I was to have gone to 
Vienna by diligence with Papa; and perhaps it would have 
come off, but the mother of little Niezabytowski asked us to 
wait for her and then never came. Papa spent all his vacation 
at home. A long time ago, that is, two or three months ago, I 
hated to pass Rezler's stone house; but yesterday, going to 
Brzezina, I went in at Lafor's door instead of by the front 
entrance. I only yesterday met the Castels. She seems to me to 
resemble him, and all Warsaw has the same impression. I am 
very sorry that the time you spend with your Mamma is not so 
free as it was last year. We are all grieved at your dear Mamma's 
indisposition, and all wish for her recovery. Your ears must 
often have burned, 1 for there has been no day that we have 
not spoken of you. 

I must stop, for my bundle of Hartman's work has already 
gone to the post, and I am going to where Geysmer and Lauber 
are sitting; I'll give them greetings from you if you like. Now 
give me a kiss. 

Your devoted 

F. Chopin 

Kiss your Mamma's hands and feet for me. My parents and 
family send their respects and best wishes for recovery, and so 
do all our friends: — Żywny, Zoch, Górski, etc. — These few 
names will remind you of our house. I kiss you again, again. 
But do be decent and sometimes write a word, or half a word, 
or one letter; I shall be pleased with even that. 

Forgive me if I have written any rubbish; I haven't time 
to read it through — Once more, adieu. 

1 Literally: "you must often have had the hiccups"; a Polish idiom. 



40 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



26. 



To his Family. 

Berlin, Tuesday, 16 September 1828. 

My dearest Parents and Sisters! 

On Sunday about 3 in the afternoon we diligence-jogged into 
this much-too-big town. From the post house they brought us 
straight to the Kronprinz inn, where we still remain. We are 
comfortable and content here. On the day of our arrival Jarocki 
took me at once to Lichtenstein's, where I saw Humboldt. 1 Lich- 
tenstein promised to introduce me to the principal masters of 
my art; he is sorry that we did not arrive a day earlier, as that 
very morning his daughter played with the orchestra. Not much 
loss, I thought privately. Was I right? I don't know yet, because 
I have not seen or heard her. On Sunday, the day we arrived; 
Winter's Das unterbrochene Opferfest 2 was played. I could not 
get to it because of the visit to Lichtenstein. Yesterday was a 
general banquet of all those learned caricatures, whom I have 
divided here into three classes; not presided over by Humboldt, 
who manages things very well, but under the presidency of 
some other Master of Spigots, whose name I can't remember at 
this moment, but I have it written under a portrait of him that I 
made. The dinner went on so long that I could not get to the con- 
cert of the nine-year-old violinist Birnbach, who is rather highly 
spoken of here. Today I am going to " Ferdinand Cortez," Spon- 
tini's famous opera; so, in order not to be made late again by 
the caricatures, I asked Jarocki to let me dine alone. That done, 
I am writing this letter, and then I go to the opera. There is a 
rumour that Paganini, the famous violinist, is coming here; 
perhaps it will come true. Radziwiłł is expected about the 20th 
of this month ; it would be good if he came. 

Until now I have seen nothing but the zoological congress; 
but I already know a good deal of the town, as for two days I have 
poked about and gaped at the handsomest streets and bridges. 

1 Humboldt (Fr. Wilh. v.): 1767-1835. 

2 The Interrupted Sacrifice: opera by Winter. 1st performance: Vienna, 1795. 

41 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I won't bother to go into details of the principal buildings, I will 
tell all that when I come back; but my general impression of 
Berlin is that it's too widely built: that double the amount of 
population could fit into it easily. 

At first we were to have lodged in the Franzosische Strasse, but 
the arrangement was changed, much to my joy, as it is a very 
dismal street; you scarcely see half a dozen persons in it. Prob- 
ably that is because of its width ; it's as wide as our Leszno. To- 
day I shall see for the first time what Berlin is like in my sense 
of the phrase. 

I should prefer to sit at Schlesinger's in the morning, rather 
than to wander about the 13 rooms of the zoological congress. 
It's true they are fine; but the above-mentioned music-shop 
would be far more useful to me. But you can't have too much 
of a good thing ; * I'll go to both. This morning I looked over two 
piano-factories. Kisling is at the end of the Friedrichstrasse: he 
had not a single finished one, so my trouble was for nothing. It's 
fortunate that the landlord of this house has a piano and that 
I can play on it. Our innkeeper admires me every day when I 
go to visit him, or rather his instrument. 

The journey was not so bad as it looked at first; or else I 
have managed to acquire much energy in the licensed Prussian 
diligences; they certainly seem to have agreed with me, for I 
am well, and very well. 

Our travelling companions were a German jurisconsult living 
in Poznań and distinguished for heavy facetiousness, and a fat 
agronomist who has travelled so much that diligences have 
been his education. That was all the company we had till the 
last stop before Frankfort, when there joined us a sort of Ger- 
man Corinne, full of ach' s and ja s and na' s: in a word, a real ro- 
mantic doll. But it was quite amusing, especially as all the way 
she was furious with her neighbour the jurisconsult. 

The environs of Berlin on this side are not particularly beau- 
tiful, but impress one through their neatness, cleanliness, selec- 
tion of things ; that is, by a certain circumspectness that catches 
the eye at every touch and turn. I have not been on the other 
side of the town, and can't go today; perhaps tomorrow. The 

1 Literally: "From increase the head does not ache:" a Polish proverb. 

42 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

day after tomorrow begin the sessions, for which Lichtenstein 
has promised to give me a pass. On the same day there is to be 
a reception for the naturalists at Humboldt's. Pan Jarocki 
wanted to try if he could get me invited; but I asked him not 
to do so; it would not be of much use to me, and then, the other 
foreign guests might look askance on the presence of an out- 
sider among them. As it is, I think one table neighbour has 
already cast sour glances at me. That was a professor of botany 
from Hamburg, Herr Lehmann. I envied him his fingers. I 
broke my roll with two hands ; he crushed his into a wafer with 
one. Zabka also had paws like a bear's. He talked across me 
to Jarocki, and got so excited in conversation that he waved 
his fingers over my plate and strewed it with crumbs. He must 
be really learned, because he had a large and clumsy nose as 
well. I sat on thorns while he messed up my plate, and after- 
wards had to wipe it with my table-napkin. 

Marylski hasn't a farthing's worth of taste if he says the 
Berlin women are beautiful. They dress, that's true; but it's 
pitiful to see the gorgeous rumpled muslins on such dowdy 
images. 

Your sincerely affectionate 

Fryderyk 



27. 
To his Family. 
Berlin, 20 September 1828. 

I am well, and since Tuesday they give something new in the 
theatre every day, as if on purpose for me. Still better, I have 
already heard one Oratorio in the Singakademie, Cortez, Cima- 
rosa's: // Matrimonio Segreto, 1 and enjoyed listening to On- 
slow's: Colporteur. 2 But Handel's Oratorio: Câcilienfest, is 
nearer to the ideal that I have formed of great music. There is 
no celebrated female singer here just now, except Frâul. Tibaldi 



1 1st performance 1792. 

2 1st performance 1827. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

(alto), and the 17-year-old von Schâtzel girl, whom I heard first 
at the Singakademie and then in the theatre, in the Colporteur. 
I liked her better in the Oratorio; perhaps I was in a better mood 
for listening. But even then there was a but; let's hope that won't 
be so in Paris. 

I have not been again at Lichtenstein's, as he is so busy with 
the affairs of the session that Pan Jarocki could scarcely get a 
few words with him. In spite of that, he took the trouble to get 
me a ticket for the sessions. I had a splendid place, saw and 
heard everything and even had a good look at the kronprinz. I 
have seen Spontini, Zelter, and Mendelsohn, but did not speak 
with any of them as I felt shy about introducing myself. Prince 
Radziwiłł is expected today; after lunch I shall go and inquire. 
I saw Princess Lignicka in the Singakademie, and observing 
someone in a livery talking to her, asked my neighbour whether 
that is the King's hammer diener. — " Ei, das ist ja Exzellenz von 
Humboldt" a said he. The ministerial uniform changed his ap- 
pearance so much, that though the features of this great pedes- 
trian (you know, he has climbed Cimborasso), are printed on 
my memory, I did not recognize him. Yesterday he was at the 
Colporteur, or as they call it here: Hausirer (in Polish I suppose 
it should be Kramarz 2 ). He was in Prince Karl's royal box. 

The day before yesterday we visited the library. It is huge, 
but has very few musical works. I saw there an autograph letter 
of Kościuszko, which Falkenstein, the biographer of our hero, 
had copied out, by the shape of the letters. Finding that we were 
Poles and could easily read the document that he had been 
obliged to draw laboriously, letter by letter, he asked Pan 
Jarocki to translate the text into German, and wrote it down from 
dictation in his pocketbook. He is still a rather young man, and 
holds the post of secretary of the Dresden library. I also met 
the editor of the Berlin musical Gazette and exchanged a few 
words with him. 

Tomorrow Freischiitz! — That is what I want. I shall be 
able to compare with our singers. Today I received a ticket for 
the Exercirhaus dinner. 

I have some more caricatures now. 

1 Why, that's his Excellency von Humboldt. 

2 pedlar. 

44 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



28. 



To his Family. 
Berlin, 27 inst. [1828]. 

I am well, and have seen all there was to see. I am coming 
back to you. On Monday, that is a week from the day after to- 
morrow, I shall embrace you. My holiday is doing me good. 
I do nothing but go to the theatre. Yesterday was: Das unter- 
brochene Opferfest; in which one chromatic scale emitted by 
Miss Schâtzel, took me back to your arms. " Your " x reminds 
me of a Berlin caricature. The drawing is of a Napoleonic sol- 
dier on sentinel duty, with a carbine, standing and asking: " Qui 
vive? " 2 and a fat German woman answering: "La vache." 
She means to say: — "Die Wâscherin; 4 but desiring to be 
more elegant and better understood by the French soldier, she 
Gallicized her dignity! 

Among the more important scenes of my trip I can count my 
second dinner with the naturalists. On Tuesday, the eve of our 
departure, we had a banquet with songs suitable to the occasion. 
Every living creature sang, and everyone that sat at the table 
drank and clinked glasses in time to the music. Zelter con- 
ducted; in front of him, on a crimson pedestal, stood a large 
gilded goblet, a mark of the highest musical status. We ate 
more than usual, for the following reason: 

The naturalists, and particularly the zoologists, have occupied 
themselves chiefly with the improvement of meat, sauces, broth, 
and such things ; so during the few days of the sessions they made 
great progress in eating. At the Konigstheater there has been a 
skit on the scientific guests; in some comedy, which I did not 
see but was told about, men are drinking beer, and one asks an- 
other: — " Why is the beer in Berlin so good now? " — " Be- 
cause the naturalists have come," is the answer. 

But it's time for bed; I must be at the post house early 

1 A pun: Wasze: your, in Polish; Wàsche: laundry, in German. 

2 Who goes there? 

3 The cow. 

4 The laundress. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 



tomorrow. We shall stay two days in Poznan, in gratiam for a 
dinner to which Archbishop Wolicki has invited us. 
When we meet, we'll talk enough! 

Goodbye, etc. 



29. 

To Tytus Wojciechowski in Poturzyń 
Warsaw, 27 December 1828. 

Dearest Tytus! 

I have put off writing till the moment when the sense of 
friendship conquered the habit of laziness. 

As I want this letter to be in your house for the 1st and 4th of 
January, I take up my pen, sleepy as I am. I won't fill up this 
paper with a lot of compliments, affected good wishes and the 
usual silly phrases, because I know you and you know me; there 
you have the reason of my silence. Max gave me the news about 
you and about your Mamma's health, the morning after he ar- 
rived in Warsaw. On his way to the University he ran in to 
see me and very enthusiastically talked to me about Hrubiesz. 
Some of his descriptions were admirable: for instance, about 
your neighbour who has come back from Paris. When I asked: 

— " Does he curl his hair? " he answered gravely and succinctly: 

— "Pani Pruszak is going to give another comedy; I have the 
role of Pedro, in Les projets de mariage, par Duval." After the 
new year they are going away to two weddings; one is that 
of Panna Skarżyńska from Cracow and Łuszczewski; the other 
that of Panna Skarżyńska from Studzieniec, — by the way, the 
eldest one, and I don't know with whom. I know you will shake 
your head and say: "What rubbish that Fryc [sic] does put 
down " ; but I've written it and I'm not going to scratch it out, for 
I've no time to copy this. From another village we hear that 
Jędrzejewicz has been made a member of some society in Paris, 
probably the geographical. But what will amuse you most is 
that I, poor I, have got to give lessons. Here is the cause of it. 
Noli " a fatto infelice la signorina governante délia Casa, nella 

46 



Chopin's letters 

strada Marszałkowska. La signorina governante a un bambino 
mil' ventre, e la Contessa sive la padrona non vuole vedere di piu 
il seduttore." II migliore evento e, che credevano avanti, che tutto 
e apparito, cK il seducente son io perque io cKera piud'un messo 
a Saniki, 1 e sempre andava colla governante camminar neW 
giardino. Ma andara camminar e niente di piu. Ella non e in- 
cantante. Poor me, non li o avuto alcuno apetito for such good 
fortune for myself. 2 Madama Pruszak so persuaded Papa and 
Mamma that I am to give the lessons. Oleum et operam perdidi. 
But let it be as they like. 

The score of the Rondo à la Krakowiak is finished. The intro- 
duction is original; more so than I myself even in a beige suit. 
But the Trio is not yet finished. There's a room upstairs which 
is to be at my service ; steps have been made to it from the ward- 
robe room. I am to have an old piano there, and an old bureau, 
and it's to be my den. The orphaned Rondo for two pantaleons 
has found a step-father in the person of Fontana; 3 perhaps you 
have met him at our house; he goes to the university. He has 
been over a month learning it, but he has learned it, and the 
other day, at Bucholtz's we tried what effect it might produce. 
Might, because, as the pantaleons were not quite in tune, the emo- 
tion didn't always come off; and you know what a difference all 
those details make to a thing. For the last week I have written 
nothing either for men or for God. I fly about from Anasz to 
Kaifasz; 4 today I go to Pani Wincengerode's to an evening 
party; from there to another at Panna Kicka's. You know how 
nice it is, when you're sleepy and they ask you to improvise. 
Try to please everybody! I very seldom get an idea like the one 
that came to my fingers so easily one morning on your pantaleon. 
Wherever you go there are Leszczynski's bad instruments; I 

1 Sanniki, the estate of the Pruszak family. 

2 In incorrect Italian mixed with Polish "Noli has brought unhappiness upon 
the governess of the House, in the Marszałkowska Street. The governess has a 
baby in her inside, and the Countess, or lady of the house, does not wish to see the 
seducer again. The best part of it is that they thought at first that it is I that 
must be the seducer, because I was more than a month at Sanniki, and always 
walked in the garden with the governess. But I walked, and that's all. She is not 
attractive. Poor me, I had no appetite for such good fortune for myself. 

3 Juljan Fontane, 1810-70: Polish musician; Chopin's fellow student and life- 
long friend. After the Polish insurrection of 1830 he settled in Paris, and after 
Chopin's death edited many of his unpublished MSS. 

4 From Ananias to Caiaphas: Peter to Paul. 

47 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

haven't seen one that has a tone approaching that of your sis- 
ter's pantaleon, or of either of ours. Yesterday the Polish the- 
atre opened with Preziosa x and the French one with Rataplan. 2 
Today Geldhab, 3 tomorrow the Locksmith. 4 Tomorrow and Sun- 
day I dine at Pruszak's. Kostuś told me that you have written 
to him ; don't think I'm cross because you haven't written to me. 
I know your soul, so it doesn't matter about paper; if I have 
written such a lot of nonsense to you, it's only to remind you 
that you are as much in my heart as ever and that I'm the same 
Fryc as before. 

F. Chopin 

You don't like to be kissed. But let me do it today. Best wishes 
for your Mamma's health from the whole household. Embrace 
your brother for me. Żywny sends you greetings. 

On the 9th of September at the Pruszaks' I re-wrote the C- 
Major Rondo for 2 pianofortes. The G-minor Trio is not quite 
finished. 

27th of December. The score of the Rondo à la Krakowiak is 
finished. The Trio is not finished yet. 



30. 

To his Family. 
Vienna, 1 August 1829. 

My dearest Parents and Sisters! 

We reached Vienna yesterday; safe, gay, healthy, all right, 
almost comfortable. From Cracow we travelled with less dis- 
comfort in a Separatwagen than we should have done in a private 
carriage. Beautiful scenery in Galicia till Bielsk, and after- 
wards in Upper Silesia and Moravia, made it a very pleasant 

1 A play by Wolf (from Cervantes) ; incidental music by Weber. 1st perform- 
ance 1821. 

2 Probably: Rataplan, der Kleine Tambour, opera by Pillurtz, 1831. 

3 Pan Geldhab: a Polish comedy by Alexander Fredro (1793-1876), who had a 
considerable vogue in Warsaw, both as a writer of comedies and as a translator 
of Goethe into Polish. 

4 Auber's opera: Miller and Locksmith (Le Maçon). 1st performance 1825. 

48 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

journey; all the more so as showers, which sometimes fell only 
at night, saved us from the discomfort of the dust. 

Before I begin to describe Vienna I must tell you what hap- 
pened at Ojców. After dinner on Sunday, we engaged a peasant's 
cart of the 4-horse Cracow type and started off in the finest 
style. After leaving the city and beautiful environs of Cracow, 
we told our driver to go straight to Ojców where we expected 
to find Pan Indyk, the man who usually puts everyone up for 
the night ; Panna Tańska has slept there. As ill luck would have 
it, Indyk lives a whole mile from Ojców, and our driver, not 
knowing the way, drove into the Prądnik, a little river, or rather, 
a clear stream, and no other way could be found, as there were 
rocks to the right and left. About 9 in the evening, when we 
were wandering about and not knowing what to do, we met two 
strangers, who took pity on us and undertook to guide us to 
Indyk. We have to go on foot for a good half mile, 1 in the dew, 
among a mass of rocks and sharp stones, and to keep crossing 
the stream on round logs; and all this in the dark night. At 
last, after many efforts, bumps and grumbles, we crawled out 
at Pan Indyk's house. 

He was not expecting guests so late. He gave us a little room 
under the cliff, in a hut built specially for tourists. Izabela! It 
was there that Panna Tańska slept! So all my companions un- 
dressed and dried their clothes by the fire which the kind Pani 
Indyk had made. I alone, sitting in the corner, wet to the knees, 
shall I undress and get dry, or not? Suddenly I see Pani Indyk 
going into the nearest cupboard to fetch bedding. Struck by a 
happy thought I follow her, and see a lot of the Cracow woollen 
caps. These caps are double, like nightcaps. Being desperate, 
I buy one for a złoty, tear it in two, take off my boots, wrap up 
my feet, tie the strings well round and save myself from a quite 
certain chill. I then drank some wine by the fire and had a good 
laugh with my kind companions; meanwhile Pani Indyk made 
up beds for us on the floor, and we slept beautifully. 

[The remainder of this letter is known only from an abridged 
account of it given by Karasowski.] 

1 Equivalent to about 2\ English miles. 

49 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



31. 



To his Family. 
Vienna, 8 August 1829. 

I am well and happy. I don't know why, but I appear to 
astonish the Germans, and I am astonished at their finding any- 
thing to be astonished at. Thanks to Eisner's letter, Haslinger 
doesn't know what to do with me. He told his son to play to me, 
showed me everything of musical interest that he has, and apolo- 
gized for not introducing me to his wife as she is not at home. 
With all that, he has not yet printed my things. I did not ask him 
about them; but, while showing me his finest editions, he in- 
formed me that my Variations will probably appear in a week's 
time in the Odéon. I didn't expect that. 

He wants me to play in public. They tell me here that it 
would be a great loss for Vienna if I were to leave without be- 
ing heard. All this is incomprehensible for me. Schuppanzigh, 
to whom I also had introductions, told me that, though he is 
not giving winter quartets any more, he would try to arrange one 
during my visit to Vienna. 

I have been once to the Hussarzewskis' ; the old man was en- 
thusiastic about my playing and asked me to dinner. At the 
dinner there were a lot of Viennese folk, and, as if he had ar- 
ranged it with them, they all told me to play in public. Stein 
wanted at once to send one of his instruments to my lodging, and 
then to the concert, if I give one. Graff, who, by the way, makes 
better instruments, made the same offer. Wurfel declares that 
if I want to show something new and to make a sensation, I 
must play in public without fail. Blahetka, a journalist here, 
whom I met at Haslinger's, also advises me to play in public. 
They are awfully pleased with the Variations. 

I also met Count Gallenberg there; he is director of the thea- 
tre, where I have already heard several bad concerts. Has- 
linger insists that the best chance for my compositions will be 
for Vienna to hear them; that the papers will praise them, 
everybody assures me of that. In a word, whoever hears me 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

tells me to play in public, and Wiirfel also adds that, as I am 
now in Vienna and my things are to appear at once, I certainly 
must play, because otherwise I should only have to come back 
specially. They assure me that now is the most favourable time, 
because the Viennese are hungry for new music. A young artist 
should not throw away such an opportunity. Moreover, if I 
were to appear only as an executant, it would count for less; 
but as I bring out my own compositions, I can safely venture; 
etc. — He wants me to play first the Variations, then the Kra- 
kowiak Rondo, as a striking novelty, and finally to improvise. 
Will it come to that? I don't know yet. 

Stein is very friendly and polite to me, but I could not play 
on his instrument; I'd rather have a Graff. Haslinger, Blahetka 
and Wiirfel agree with that. I shall decide today. 

Wherever I turn, everybody clacks my head off about play- 
ing in public. I now know plenty of musicians; only Czerny I 
have not seen yet, but Haslinger promises to introduce me to 
him. 

I have seen three operas: The White Lady, 1 Kościuszko, and 
Meyerbeer's Knight of the Cross. 2 The orchestra and choir are 
splendid. Today Joseph in Egypt. 3 In the Academy of Music 
I have heard Mayseder play solos twice. I like the town, which 
is fine to look at ; they want me to stay for the winter. 

Wiirfel has just come in; I am going with him to Haslinger. 

P.S. I have decided. Blahetka says that I shall cause a furore, 
that I'm a virtuoso of the first rank, that I count with Moscheles, 
Herz and Kalkbrenner. Wiirfel today introduced me to Count 
Gallenberg, Kapellmeister Seyfried and everyone else he en- 
countered, as a young man whom he was persuading to give a 
concert (nota bene without any pay), which greatly pleased 
Count Gallenberg, as it is a question of his pocket. The jour- 
nalists all stare at me with round eyes; the members of the 
orchestra bow deeply, because the director of the Italian opera, 
which no longer exists, walks arm in arm with me. Wiirfel 
really is making everything easy for me; he will come to the 

1 La Dame Blanche: comic opera by Boïeldieu. 1st performance 1825. 

2 II Crociato in Egitto; one of Meyerbeer's Italian operas (early work). 1st 
performance 1824. 

3 Is this an error for Rossini's Mose in Egitto (1818)? 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

rehearsal himself and is genuinely taking trouble over my 
début. He was kind to me in Warsaw too; he spoke very nicely 
of Eisner. 

They are all surprised that Kessler, Ernemann and Czapek 
can get on in Warsaw when I am there. But I explain to them 
that I play bloss aus Musikliebe 1 and don't give lessons. I have 
chosen one of Graff's instruments for the concert; I'm afraid 
Stein will take offence, but I will thank him warmly for his 
kindness. 

I hope the Lord will help me. — Don't worry! 



32. 

To his Family. 

[Vienna] Wednesday, 12 August 1829. 

You know from my last letter, dearest Parents, that I have 
been persuaded to give a concert. So yesterday, that is, Tues- 
day evening at 7, in the Imperial-and-Royal opera-house, I 
made my entry into the world! 

Here they are speaking of this appearance in the theatre as: 
" Eine musikalische Akademie." * As I got nothing for it, 
and didn't try to get anything, Count Gallenberg hurried on the 
concert, arranging the programme as follows: 

A Beethoven Overture 3 

My Variations 4 

Singing (Miss Veltheim) 

My Rondo. 5 

Then more singing, then a short ballet to fill out the evening. 
At rehearsal the orchestra accompanied so badly, that I substi- 
tuted Freie Phantasie for the Rondo. As soon as I appeared on 

1 only for love of music. 

2 A musical Academy. 

3 Prometheus. 

4 On "La Ci Darem La Mano." 
6 Op. 5. Rondo à la Mazur. [Op.] 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

the stage, the bravos began; after each variation the applause 
was so loud that I couldn't hear the orchestra's tutti. When I 
finished, they clapped so much that I had to come out and bow 
a second time. The Freie Phantasie didn't go off quite so well, 
but there was a lot of clapping and bravos, and I had to come 
out again. That was easier to do, because the Germans appreci- 
ate that sort of thing. The whole notion was suggested only on 
Saturday, and on Tuesday Wiirfel carried it out; I owe him a 
great deal. On Saturday I met Gyrowetz, Lachner, Kreutzer 
and Seyfried; I had a long talk with Mayseder. Standing in 
front of the theatre, I saw Count Gallenberg ; he came up to me 
and proposed that I should play on Tuesday; so I consented, 
and I didn't get hissed! When I come home, I'll tell you more 
about it than I can write; but you need have no anxiety for me 
and my reputation. 

The journalists have taken a fancy to me; perhaps they'll 
stick a patch on me, 1 but that's necessary to underline the 
praise. Gallenberg likes my compositions. The stage manager 
of the theatre, Demar, is very kind and amiable to me. He was 
so encouraging with his assurances before I went on to the stage, 
and kept my thoughts off it so well that I was not very nervous, 
especially as the hall was not full. 

My friends and colleagues spread themselves over the hall 
to listen for opinions and criticisms. Celiński can tell you how 
little fault-finding there was; only Hube overheard more. Some 
lady said: " Schade um den Jungen dass er so wenig Tournure 
hat." 2 If that is all the fault anybody found — and otherwise 
they assure me that they heard only praises, and that they 
never started the bravos themselves — then I don't need to 
worry ! 

I improvised on a theme from the White Lady. At the request 
of the stage manager, who liked my Rondo so much at rehearsal 
that yesterday, after the concert, he squeezed my hand and 
said : — " J a, das Rondo muss hier gespielt werden " ; 3 — at 
his request that I should also take a Polish theme, I chose 

1 To speak against a person; Polish idiom. 

2 A pity the boy has so little style. 

8 Yes the Rondo must be played here. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 



Chmiel, 1 which electrified the public, as they are not used here 
to such songs. My spies in the stalls assure me that people even 
jumped on the seats. 

Wertheim, who happened to arrive yesterday from Carlsbad 
with his wife, went straight to the theatre, but did not find out that 
it was I who was playing; he called on me today to congratulate 
me. He saw Hummel in Carlsbad, and says that Hummel men- 
tioned me, and that he is writing to him today about my début. 

Haslinger is printing; the poster of the concert is being pre- 
served. 

All the same it is being said everywhere that I played too 
softly, or rather, too delicately for people used to the piano- 
pounding of the artists here. I expect to find this reproach in the 
paper, especially as the editor's daughter thumps frightfully. It 
doesn't matter, there has always got to be a but somewhere, 
and I should rather it were that one than have people say I 
played too loud. Yesterday Count Dietrichstein, a personage in 
touch with the emperor, came on to the stage; he talked a lot 
with me in French, complimenting me and asking me to stay 
longer in Vienna. The orchestra cursed at my badly written 
score and grumbled, right up to the improvisation, after which 
they added their bravos to the clapping and yells of the whole 
audience. I see that I have them for me; about other artists 
I don't know yet; but they ought not to be hostile, seeing that 

1 An orgiastic drinking-song, very popular at peasant weddings. Chmiel is 
the hop-vine. The use of the third mode in a song of this gay and riotous charac- 
ter is sufficiently unusual to explain to some extent the startling effect of the tune. 

In Gloger's collection it is given as follows: 




Oj chmie-lucbmie-lu Tybaj-ne żie-le Nie be-dziebezcie Zad-ne w - se - le. 
Quicker 



Oj chmie-lu oj nie-bo - że Niech cie Pan Bóg do-po-mo- że Chmie-lunie-bo- że. 
But the following seems to me nearer to the rhythm that T remember hearing 
from a singer of folk-song. I cannot vouch for the correctness of either version. 
Moderato 




Oj chmie-lu chmie-lu Tybaj-ne zie-le Nie be- dzie bez cie Zad-ne we - se-le. 
Quickly accell. rail. 



|g^S^^ 



Oj chmie-lu, oj nie-bo - ze, Niech cie Pan Bdg do-po - mo - ze Chmie-lu nie-bo - ze. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I did not play for material gain. Thus, my first appearance has 
been as fortunate as it was unexpected. Hube says that no one 
ever attains anything by ordinary methods and according to 
any prearranged plan; that one must leave something to luck. 
And it was just trusting to luck that I let myself be persuaded 
to give the concert. I decided that if the papers should so 
smash me that I could not again appear before the world I 
would take to interior housepainting; it's easy to smear a brush 
across paper, and one is still a son of Apollo. 

I wonder what Pan Eisner will say to all this; perhaps he 
won't like my having played? But they made such a dead set 
at me that I could not refuse, and after all I think it did no 
harm. Nidecki in particular showed me great friendliness yes- 
terday; he looked through and corrected the orchestral parts, 
and was genuinely pleased at the applause. 

I played on a Graff instrument. 

Today I am wiser and more experienced by about 4 years. 

Ah! You must have been surprised that my last letter was 
sealed with: — " Madeira." I was so distracted that I took the 
seal nearest to my hand, which was the waiter's, and sealed my 
letter in a hurry. 



33. 

To his Family. 

[Vienna] Thursday, 13. 8 [1829]. 

If I ever wanted to be with you, it's now. Today I met Count 
Lichnowski, who couldn't praise me enough; Wurfel took me 
to him. It's the same who was Beethoven's greatest friend. It's 
said everywhere here that the local nobility likes me. The 
Schwartzenbergs, the Wobrzes, etc. all speak in high terms of 
the delicacy and elegance of my playing; Count Dietrichstein, 
who came on to the stage, is an example. Countess Lichnowska 
and her daughter, with whom I had tea today, are greatly de- 
lighted that I am to give a second concert next Tuesday. She 
told me, if I go to Paris by way of Vienna, not to forget to call 
on them, and they will give me a letter to some comtesse, Lich- 
nowski's sister. They are very kind. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Czerny has paid me a lot of compliments; Schuppanzigh 
and Gyrowetz also. Today in the Antiken Kabinet some German 
caught sight of me; directly I spoke, he asked Celiński: — " Is 
that Chopin? " and rushed up to me with big jumps, delighted 
to have the pleasure of meeting such a Kunstler: 1 " Sie haben 
mich vorgestern wahrhaft entzuckt und begeistert." 2 It was the 
man who sat beside Maciejowski and was so overjoyed with 
Chmiel. 

I shan't give a third concert, and would not even give a 
second but that they insist on it; besides, it occurred to me 
that people might say in Warsaw: — " What is it? He only gave 
one concert and went away; perhaps it was a failure." They 
promise me good reviews; today I called on a journalist; luckily 
he likes me. 

I don't write about how kind Wiirfel is to me, because I can't 
describe it. 

This time too I shall play for nothing; but that is to please 
the count, whose pocket is emaciated; but this is a secret. I am 
to play the Rondo and to improvise. 

For the rest, I am healthy and happy; eat and drink well. 
I like Vienna and the Poles here fairly well. In the ballet there 
is one who on the evening of the concert took such care of me 
that he brought me water with sugar, cheered me up, and so on. 

Please tell Pan Eisner all this, and make my excuses to him 
for not writing; I'm so confused that I don't know where the 
hours go to. 

My thanks to Pan Skarbek, who first advised me to give con- 
certs: it is a start in life. 



34. 

To his Family. 

[Vienna] 19 August 1829. 

If I was well received the first time, it was still better yester- 
day. The moment I appeared on the stage there were bravos, re- 

1 artist. 

2 Yesterday you really delighted and enchanted me. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

peated three times; and there was a larger audience. Baron — 
I don't know what his name is: the financier of the theatre, 
thanked me for the receipts, saying that: — "If such a crowd 
has come it is surely not for the ballet, which everybody knows 
well." All the professional musicians are captivated with my 
Rondo. Beginning with Kapellmeister Lachner and ending with 
the pianoforte-tuner, they are surprised at the beauty of the 
composition. I know that both ladies and artists liked me. Gy- 
rowetz, standing by Celiński, clapped and shouted " Bravo! " 
I only don't know whether I pleased the stony Germans. Yester- 
day one of them returned from the theatre, and I was sitting at 
supper; the others asked him how he had enjoyed himself. — 
" A good ballet," he answered. " But the Academy? " I saw 
that he had recognized me, though my back was turned to him, 
because he began to talk of something else. I felt I ought not 
to hamper him in expressing his feelings, so I went to bed, say- 
ing to myself: 

"There is not a mother's son 
Can be liked by everyone." 

I have played twice, and the second success was better than 
the first; it goes crescendo; that's what I like. 

As I leave at 9 this evening, I must return some calls this 
morning. Schappanzigh reminded me yesterday that, as I am 
leaving Vienna so soon, I must also come back soon. I replied 
that I shall come to learn ; to which the baron retorted : — " In 
that case you have nothing to come for." Only compliments, 
but pleasant ones. No one here wants to take me as a pupil. 
Blahetka said nothing surprised him so much as my having 
learned all that in Warsaw. I answered that under Żywny and 
Eisner the greatest donkey could learn. I am sorry that I still 
have not had any notices in the press; I know that one is lying 
already written in the office of the paper to which I have sub- 
scribed, and which the editor, Mr. Bâuerle, will send to War- 
saw. I don't know, perhaps they are waiting for the second 
concert. It comes out twice a week, on Tuesdays and Satur- 
days; perhaps you will soon read something good or bad 
about me. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I have captured both the learned and the emotional folk. 
They will have something to talk about. 

I wanted to write about other things, but yesterday sticks in 
my head, and I can't collect my thoughts. . . . 

My finances are all right so far. I have just been to Schup- 
panzigh and Czerny to say goodbye. Czerny is more sensitive 
than any of his compositions. 

I have packed my bag; now I have only got to go to Hass- 
linger, and then to the café opposite the theatre, where I shall 
find Gyrowetz, Lachner, Kreutzer and Seyfried. 

In two nights and one day we shall be in Prague; at 9 in the 
evening we shall start in the Eilwagen; it will be a fine journey 
and a fine company. 



35. 

To his Family. 

Prague, Saturday, 22 August 1829. 

After tender farewells in Vienna, — really tender; Panna 
Blahetka gave me her compositions with an autograph inscrip- 
tion for a keepsake and her father told me to embrace my Papa 
and Mamma and congratulate them on such a son. Young Stein 
wept; Schuppanzigh, Gyrowetz, in a word all the artists took 
leave of me most affectionately. 

After all scenes, and promises to come back, we got into 
the Eilwagen. Nidecki and two other Poles, who were starting 
half an hour later for Trieste, saw us off. They stayed some 
days in Vienna, and we saw a good deal of them. One of them 
is called Niegolewski; he is from Great Poland, a young fellow, 
travelling with his tutor, or rather companion, Kopytowski, who 
is a member of the Warsaw Academy. Pani Hussarzewska, on 
whom I called to say goodbye, — they are both very decent 
people — wanted to keep me to dinner; but I had no time, I 
had to rush to Hasslinger. He also, after affectionately begging 
me to come back and seriously promising to issue my Variations 
within five weeks, to impress the world with them, sends his re- 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

spects and greetings to Papa, although he has not the pleasure 
of knowing him. 

We got into the Eilwagen, and a young German with us. As 
we were going to sit together for two nights and a day, we intro- 
duced ourselves. He is a merchant from Gdańsk, and knows 
the Pruszaks, Sierakowski of Waplew, Jawurek, Ernemann, the 
Grossers, and so on. Two years ago he was in Warsaw ; his name 
is Normann. He turned out an excellent travelling companion; 
he was on his way back from Paris. We have put up at the same 
hotel, and have decided, after seeing Prague, to make an ex- 
cursion together to Teplitz and Dresden. It would be childish 
to miss the opportunity to see Dresden, especially as our finances 
allow it and travelling four together it will be cheap and com- 
fortable. 

After many bumps and jolts in the Eilwagen we reached 
Prague yesterday at noon, and went straight to the table d'hôte. 
After dinner we called on Hauke, to whom Hube had given 
Maciejowski a letter of introduction. I was sorry I had not 
thought of writing to Skarbek and asking for a letter to this 
famous scholar. As we had lingered in the cathedral church in 
[sic] the castle, we did not find Hauke at home. The town is 
beautiful on the whole, when one sees it from the castle hill; 
large, ancient and once opulent. Just before leaving Vienna, I 
was given six letters: five from Wiirfel, one from Blahetka to 
Pixis, asking him to show me the Conservatorium. They wanted 
me to play here too, but I am staying only three days ; besides, 
I don't want to spoil what I gained in Vienna ; here, even Paga- 
nini was grilled ; 1 so I shall leave it alone. The five letters from 
Wiirfel are to the director and kapellmeister of the theatre and 
to the leading musical lights of the place. I shall present them, 
as he specially asked me to do so, but I have no intention of 
playing. The good Wiirfel has also given me a letter to Klengel 
in Dresden. 

I must stop writing, for it is time to go to Hauke; I shall intro- 
duce myself as Skarbek's godson, and hope that I shall not need 
any letter. 

1 Literally: whetted (as on a grindstone); a Polish idiom. 



59 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



36. 



To his Family. 
Dresden, 26 August 1829. 

I am well and very cheerful. A week ago today, in Vienna, 
I did not know that I should come to Dresden. We saw Prague 
at lightning speed, but not in vain. Hauke was pleased to have 
news of Pan Skarbek. We had to write our names in his book, 
which is devoted to those who visit the Prague Museum, and par- 
ticularly in connection with him. Brodziński, Morawski, etc. — 
are already there. So each of us had to think of something to 
say; one in verse, the other in prose. Szwejkowski wrote a long 
speech. What was a musician to do here? Luckily Maciejowski 
hit on the idea of writing a four-verse mazurka, 1 so I added the 
music and inscribed myself together with my poet, as originally 
as possible. Hauke was pleased; it was a Mazur for him, cele- 
brating his services to the Slavonic world. He gave me a com- 
plete set of views of Prague for Pan Skarbek. 

I won't go into details about where he conducted us, to what 
beautiful views; I have no space to describe the magnificent 
cathedral church with the silver St. John Nepomuk, the lovely 
chapel of Wacław decorated with amethysts and other precious 
stones — I'll tell you when I come. 

The letters of Blahetka and Wiirfel to Pixis procured for me 
the kindest reception. Pixis stopped his lesson, made me stay 
and asked about a lot of things. Looking at the bureau, I see 
Klengel's visiting-card; I ask whether some namesake of the 
famous Dresden man is in Prague. He replied that Klengel him- 
self has just arrived, and, not finding him at home, has left this 
card. 

I was pleased, because I had a letter to him from Vienna ; I 
mentioned this to Pixis, and he asked me to come to him after 
dinner, as that was the hour of the appointment that Klengel had 
made with him. So it happened that we met on the stairs, going 
to Pixis. I listened to his playing of his Fugues for two hours. I 

1 These old national dances have words. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

did not play, because they did not ask me to do so. He plays 
well, but I should have liked him to play better (hush) . Klengel 
gave me a letter: — " All Ornatissimo Signor Cavalière Morlac- 
chi, primo maestro della Capella Reale," in which, as he told 
me, he asks him to show me the whole musical Wesen 1 of Dres- 
den, and to present me to Miss Pechwell, his pupil, whom he 
regards as the best pianist there. He was very amiable; before 
he left Ï spent two hours in his rooms. He is on his way to Vienna 
and Italy, so we had something to talk about. 

It is an excellent acquaintance, and I value it more than I do 
that of poor Czerny. (Hush!) 

In Prague we stayed only three days. The time flew so fast 
that there was no catching it. I was busy all the time; with the 
result that, the day before leaving, I left the room half-dressed, 
blundered into a strange bedroom, and had got inside before 
some cheerful traveller greeted me with an astonished : — " Gu- 
ten Morgen! " — " Bitte um Verzeihung! " 2 and I fled. The 
rooms are just alike. We left Dresden by Separatwagen at mid- 
day, and reached Teplitz in the evening. 

The next morning I found in the Badeliste 3 the name of Lud- 
wik Lempicki, so I went at once to say good day to him ; he was 
pleased. He told me there are many Poles here, among others old 
Pruszak, Joseph Kochler and Kretkowsky from Kamionnia. 
They eat together im deutschen Saale? but he would not be at 
dinner that day, as he was invited to the castle, to Prince Clary's. 
It is a great, almost sovereign family, owning the whole town of 
Teplitz, and extremely kind. Princess Clary is a sister of Chotek, 
the Bohemian viceroy. Lempicki asked me to give him the pleas- 
ure of bringing me to them for the evening, as he is at home in 
the castle, and would mention me at dinner. As we were giving 
up the day to seeing the place, I agreed. 

We went everywhere, including Wallenstein's palace at Dux. 
There is a fragment of the great soldier's skull, and the halberd 
with which he was killed, and many other relics. In the evening, 
instead of going to the theatre, I dressed, put on the white gloves 

1 affairs. 

2 Good morning! — Please excuse! 

3 Visitor's list at a bathing-resort. 

4 In the German Hall. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

of my second Viennese concert, and at half past eight went with 
Lempicki to the prince's. 

We enter: — " Kleine aber honette Compagnie." 1 Some Aus- 
trian prince, some general, whose names I have forgotten, an 
English sea-captain, several young men of fashion, probably also 
Austrian princes, and a Saxon general called Leiser, covered 
with orders and with a scar on his face. 

After tea, before which I had had a long talk with Prince 
Clary himself, his mother asked me to " be pleased to " sit down 
to the pianoforte; a good one, by Graff. I was " pleased," but on 
my side asked them to " be pleased to " give me a theme for 
improvisation. Immediately among the female company that 
was sitting round a big table, lace-making, knitting and em- 
broidering, began cries of: — " Un thème, un thème." Three of 
these young princesses agreed that one of them should call Herr 
Fritsche, apparently young Clary's tutor; and he, by general con- 
sent, gave me a theme from Rossini's Moses. 

I improvised ; and it went off so well that General Leiser had 
a long talk with me afterwards, and hearing that I was going 
to Dresden, at once wrote this letter to Baron von Friesen: 

" M. Frédéric Chopin est recommandé de la part du Général 
Leiser à Monsieur le Baron de Friesen, Maître de Cérémonie de 
S. M. le Roi de Saxe, pour lui être utile pendant son séjour à 
Dresde, et de lui procurer la connaissance de plusieurs de nos 
premiers artistes." Underneath, in German: "Herr Chopin ist 
selbst einer der vorzûglichsten Pianospieler, die ich bis jetzt 
kenne." ~ This is a literal copy of General Leiser's letter, written 
in pencil and not sealed. 

I played four times that evening, and the princesses asked me 
to stay in Teplitz and come to dinner with them the next day. 
Lempicki even offered to take me to Warsaw with him, to 
enable me to wait. But I did not want to abandon my travelling 
companions, so I declined with many thanks. 

Yesterday at 5 in the morning, having engaged a hackney 

1 A small but choice gathering. 

2 General Leiser recommends Mr. Frederick Chopin to Baron von Friesen, 
Master of Ceremonies to the King of Saxony, askiag him to be helpful to him 
during his visit to Dresden and acquaint him with some of our leading artists. — 
Mr. Chopin is himself one of the finest pianists that I have yet heard." 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

coach for two thalers, we left Teplitz, arrived at Dresden at 4 in 
the afternoon and at once met Lewiński and the Labęckis. 

This journey is a very lucky one for me ; today Goethe's Faust, 
and on Saturday, Klengel tells me, an Italian opera. 

I began this letter yesterday evening, and am finishing this 
morning. 

I must dress; I am going to Baron Frieser and Morlacchi, as 
I have no time to waste. We expect to leave here in a week, but 
before that, if the weather is fine, we want to see Saxon Switzer- 
land. Then we shall stay a few days in Wroclaw [Breslau] before 
coming home. I am in such a hurry to get back to you, dearest 
Parents, that I should rather not stop at the Wiesolowskis'. I'll 
tell you the story afterwards; quite an adventure, but fine, fine. 

[P.S.] Maître de Cérémonie Baron de Friesen received me 
courteously, asked where I am staying; told me he regrets that 
the Chamberlain, who directs the music, is out of town just now, 
but that he will find out who is replacing him ; and that, though 
my visit here is short, he will do his best to be of service to me 
in some way. Plenty of bows and ceremonies. I'll keep the rest 
for next letter, which I will write from Wroclaw in a week or 
ten days. 

I have seen the picture gallery here, an exhibition of produce, 
the principal gardens; I have returned some calls, and am now 
going to the theatre ; I hope that's enough for one day ! 

[2nd P.S.] My letter has lain here till late at night; I have 
just come back from Faust. I had to stand outside the theatre 
from half past 4; the show lasted from 6 to 11. Devrient, whom I 
saw in Berlin, played Faust. Today is Goethe's eightieth anni- 
versary. It's terrible phantasy, but a great one. Between the 
acts they played selections from Spohr's opera of the same name. 
— I am going to bed — . Tomorrow morning I expect Morlac- 
chi ; I am to go with him to Miss Pechwell. He comes to me, not 
I to him! Ha, ha, ha! — Good night! 

Your Fryderyk 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

37. 

To Tytus Wojciechowski in Poturzyń. 
Warsaw, 12 September 1829. 

You wouldn't have had any news of me but for Wine. Skar- 
żyński. I met him, and he told me you will not come to Warsaw 
till the end of this month, though Kostuś told me in Dresden 
that you were to come to your Sister on the 15th. 

I mean to tell you personally of my big journey; which would 
give me the more pleasure because I really should like to have 
a chat with you; but know, my dear fellow, that I have been in 
Cracow, Vienna, Prague, Dresden and Wroclaw. The first week 
was spent in Cracow on nothing but going about and looking at 
the environs. Ojców is really pretty; but I won't write much 
about it; because you know where and what it is from Panna 
Tanska's very truthful description. I went on to Vienna in a gay 
but rather unfamiliar company; and if Cracow so occupied my 
attention that I could give few moments to home or to you, 
Vienna so overwhelmed, stupefied and hallucinated me that, re- 
ceiving no news from home for more than two weeks, I never 
worried about it. Imagine, in so short a time I had to play in 
public twice in the Imp. -Royal Theatre. This is how it hap- 
pened. Haslinger, my publisher, told me it would be better for 
my compositions if I gave concerts in Vienna ; that no one knows 
my name, that the compositions are difficult and recondite. I, 
however, not having intended to come out yet, and also not hav- 
ing practised for some weeks, refused, saying that I was not 
capable of doing myself justice before so famous an audience; 
so we left it at that. Meanwhile Count Gallenberg, the head of 
the Vienna theatre, who writes the beautiful ballets, came in, 
and Haslinger represented me to him as a coward who is afraid 
to appear. The count was kind enough to offer the use of his 
theatre; but I, being convinced of my own view, declined with 
thanks. The next morning someone knocks at my door, and in 
comes Wurfel to implore me, and say that I shall disgrace my 
parents, Eisner and my own self, if, having the chance, I refuse 

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to be heard in Vienna. They hammered at me till I consented; 
Wurfel at once arranged everything and the posters were out 
the next day. It was difficult to back out; but I still did not know 
whether to play or not. Three piano-manufacturers offered to 
send their pantaleons to my room. I declined, because the room 
was too tiny; besides those few hours of practising would not 
have helped me much, as I had to appear in two days. So, in one 
day, I made acquaintance with Meyseder, Gyrowetz, Lachner, 
Kreutzer, Schupanzig [sic], with Mertz, with Levi; in a word 
with all the big musicians of Vienna. Nevertheless the orchestra 
was sulky at rehearsal; chiefly, I think, because I had just ar- 
rived from nowhere and was already playing my own composi- 
tions. So I started the rehearsal with the Variations dedicated to 
you, which were to have been preceded by the Krakowiak Rondo. 
They went well, but I began the Rondo several times and the 
orchestra muddled it frightfully and complained of the bad 
script. All the confusion was caused by pauses written dif- 
ferently at the top and bottom of the score, although I explained 
that only the top numbers count. It was partly my own fault; 
but I had thought they would understand. But they were annoyed 
at the inaccuracy* and besides, they are all virtuosi and com- 
posers too; anyhow they played so many tricks that I was just 
ready to fall ill for the evening. But Baron Demmar, the stage 
manager, seeing that it was a little want of goodwill on the 
part of the orchestra — all the more so because Wùrfel wanted 
to conduct, and they don't like him, I don't know why — pro- 
posed that instead of playing the Rondo I should improvise. 
At that suggestion the orchestra opened big eyes. I was so an- 
noyed that in desperation I consented; and who knows whether 
the risk and my bad temper were not just the goad that stirred 
me up to do my best in the evening. Somehow or other the sight 
of the Viennese public did not frighten me; so, as it is not the 
custom there for the orchestral players to mount the stage — 
they stay in their seats — I sat down (pale, with a rouged-up 
partner to turn the leaves, who boasted to me that he had turned 
over for Moscheles, Hummel, Herz, etc. — when they came 
to Vienna) — to a magnificent instrument of Graff; perhaps 
the finest one in Vienna. You may believe me that I played 

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from desperation. The Variations produced such an effect that, 
apart from the clapping after each one, I was obliged to come 
back to the stage after finishing. The Intermezzo was sung by 
Frâulein Weltheim, one of the King of Saxony's court singers. 
Then came the time for improvising. I don't know how it hap- 
pened, but it went in such a way that the orchestra started to 
clap, and I again had to return after leaving the stage. That 
finished the first concert. The Viennese papers praised me en- 
thusiastically — I don't count the Courier — then I played a 
second time during the week, as they begged me to ; I was glad, 
because no one could say I had played once and run away. Be- 
sides, that second time I insisted on playing the Krakowiak 
Rondo, which ravished — forgive my saying it — Gyrowetz, 
Lachner, all the local celebrities and even the orchestra. I was 
recalled, not once, but twice. At that concert I was also obliged 
to repeat the Variations, as they were tremendously admired by 
the ladies, and also by Haslinger. They are to appear in the 
Odéon; I hope that is honour enough. Lichnowski, Beethoven's 
protector, wanted to give me his pianoforte for the concert — 
that is a great deal to offer. He thought mine was too weak in 
tone; but that is my way of playing, which, again, delights the 
ladies, and especially Blahetka's daughter, who is the first pianist 
of Vienna. She must like me (nota bene she is not 20 yet; liv- 
ing at home; a clever and even pretty girl) ; she gave me her own 
compositions with an autograph inscription, for a keepsake, 
when I left. About the second concert a Viennese newspaper 
wrote : — " This is a young man who goes his own road, on 
which he knows how to please, and which differs widely from 
all other concert forms " etc., etc. — I hope that is enough. 
It ends: "Today again Mr. Chopin gave universal satisfaction." 
Forgive my having to write to you these opinions about myself; 
but I am writing it to you, and that gives me more pleasure 
than any newspaper. I have made close friends with Czerny; 
we often played together on two pianofortes at his house. He's 
a good fellow, but nothing more. Of all my pianist acquaintances 
I am most glad of Klengel, whom I met at Pixis's house in 
Prague. He played me his fugues; one can say they are a con- 
tinuation of Bach's ; there are 48 of them, and as many canons. 

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One sees how different from Czerny. Klengel gave me a letter 
to Morlacchi in Dresden. Morlacchi, the head Kapellmeister of 
the King of Saxony, received me very courteously, called on me, 
and took me to Miss Pechwell, a pupil of Klengel, who is re- 
garded as the leading woman pianist there. She plays well. We 
visited the Saxon Switzerland, which has many beauties. The 
Gallery is wonderful. Only the Italian opera was taken away 
from under my nose. I left the very day that they played Cro- 
ciato in Egitto; the only consolation was that I had seen it in 
Vienna. Pani Pruszak, Olesia and Kostuś are in Dresden; I saw 
them at the moment of departure : " how delightful, how de- 
lightful, Pan frycek, Pan frycek! " I was so pleased that, if I 
had been alone, I should probably have stayed on. Pruszak him- 
self is in Teplitz, where I saw him. Teplitz is lovely; I was 
there one day, and spent the evening at Princess Clary's. Sorry 
I must stop, but I have scribbled enough to you. I expect your 
arrival, sir; I often pass near the Sto Jurska St. going to Brandt, 
and want to write to you when I see it. I kiss you heartily, right 
on the lips; may I? 

F. Chop. 

I met Max today. He told me he is really cured, and staying 
à l' hotel garni. In a green coat; he was so kind as to promise 
me a call. He asked after you, but sent no message, as he did 
not know I was writing; I didn't know it myself this morning. 
If you think of it, dash off a few words on paper for me. Did you 
know that Panna Filipina, a cousin of Linde, who was with 
Berger? She is dead. On my way home I attended the wedding 
of Panna Bronikowska Melasi : a beautiful child ; she has mar- 
ried Kurnatowski. She often spoke of you, and sent greetings. 
Her cousin, of the same age, was married a few days before her: 
a still prettier child ; it was as nice as a wedding should be. I've 
written such a lot that I don't want to get up. Give me a kiss. 
My love to Pan Karol. 

F. Ch. — Papa and Mamma 
send you greetings and good wishes; the children the same. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 



38. 



To the Same. 

Warsaw, 3 October 1829. 



Dear Tytus! 

I have this moment received a letter from you, just as I was 
starting to write to you again, thinking either that my first letter 
had not reached you, or that I must have written something fright- 
fully stupid. I am glad that you are well, as I conclude from your 
letter; I shall learn more about that from Karol. You write that 
I am to explain to you more clearly, what is happening to me 
and to the persons that I know about. Kostuś sent me a letter by 
his father, who returned from Teplitz to the Łowicz fair on St. 
Matthew's day; 1 he says he thinks of going to Dresden for 
Christmas, where they will be gay; as in all probability Pani 
Sokołowska will spend the winter there. Also he says that Panna 
Wanda has been so ill with inflammation of the kidneys that 
there was a time when the doctors gave little hope; she fell 
ill at Marienbad, and is now convalescent at Dresden. I have 
not written yet to Kostuś — I don't need to explain to you why 
— you know how lazy I am ; I could scarcely manage to scrawl 
a few words to Wiïrfel. You write that you read about my con- 
certs in two newspapers. If they were Polish papers, you could 
not get much satisfaction. Not only were they of course in trans- 
lation, but they purposely muddled up the Viennese reports 
in a damaging way; I can tell you better about that by word of 
mouth. Hube, who came back last week, after visiting Trieste and 
Venice, brought me some cuttings from the Viennese periodical 
Zeitschrift fur Litteratur, in which my playing and compositions 
are discussed at length and highly praised, — forgive me for 
telling you this, — at the end they speak of me as a " Selbst- 
kraf tiger Virtuoz" 2 and also as richly endowed by nature ; 
if such cuttings should fall into your hands, I need not be 
ashamed. If you want to know what I intend to do with myself 



1 September 21st. 

2 Virtuoso of independent powers. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

this winter, learn that I shall not stay in Warsaw; but where 
circumstances will lead me, I don't know. It is true that Prince 
Radziwiłł, or rather she, who is very amiable, has invited me 
to Berlin, even offering me quarters in their own palace; but 
what of that, when I must go on where I have begun, especially 
as I promised to return to Vienna. Besides, it says in one of the 
newspapers there that a longer stay in Vienna would be a use- 
ful Anschlag 1 for my entry into public life. I am sure you will 
see that I must go back to Vienna ; but it is not for Panna Bla- 
hetka, of whom I think I wrote to you. She is young, pretty and 
a pianist; but I, perhaps unfortunately, already have my own 
ideal, which I have served faithfully, though silently, for half 
a year; of which I dream, to thoughts of which the adagio of 
my concerto belongs, and which this morning inspired the lit- 
tle waltz I am sending you. Attention to one point here: No one 
knows about this but you. flow I should like to play the waltz to 
you, dearest Tytus. In thé Trio the bass melody should dominate 
till the high E flat of the violin in the 5th measure ; 2 but I need 
not write you that, because you will feel it. No musical news 
except that there is music at Kessler's every Friday. Yesterday, 
among other things, they played Spohr's Octet ; lovely, exquisite. 
There was an evening at Sowan's, but not very good. I met 
Bianchi there ; he travels with the Chiavinis ; he plays the violin 
well, but altogether he seems to me a coxcomb. Soliwa 3 [sic] 
asked politely after you. I met Oborski yesterday. He asked 
whether I have any news of you, and told me about himself. It 
seems he has got a job in the Bank; he is dans la correspondance; 
for the last two days he has been going through enormous piles 
of letters from various foreign bankers. He looks well. Jelski 
gave him this post and the former one, just as he was. He is still 
à Vhotel garni, so you can understand on whom he will call. I 
have not yet seen Kopciuszek 4 here; today is The Wife Ex- 
change. 5 The French theatre opens on Monday. Barański sends 

1 stroke. 

2 I cannot identify this waltz; it may not have been published. 

3 Carlo Soliva, 1792-1851; Italian composer; professor of singing at Warsaw 
Conservatorium. 

4 Cenerentola: an opera of Rossini. 

5 Apparently Le Marché des femmes: an opera of Bierey. 1st performance about 
1805. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

you greetings; he is in Switzerland now; Jędrzejewicz was to 
leave Geneva for Italy; Wójcicki has returned from London, is 
teaching in the Lyceum. When you come back next month, you 
will find portraits of all our family, including Żywny (who often 
speaks of you) ; he has had himself painted as a surprise for me, 
and Miroszesio has got him wonderfully lifelike. Before I re- 
ceived your letter I went to Miodowa street; I usually look up 
at the Chodkiewiczs' windows, but the shutters of your room 
were just as yesterday and the day before. And you must know 
that Vincent Skarżyński raised my hopes for nothing by telling 
me that you were certainly coming back soon. 

I go to Brzezina every day. There's nothing new except a con- 
certo by Pixis, for which I don't care much. You wouldn't believe 
how dreary I find Warsaw now; if it weren't for the family 
making it a little more cheerful, I shouldn't stay. But how dismal 
it is to have no one to go to in the morning to share one's griefs 
and joys; how hateful when something weighs on you and there's 
nowhere to lay it down. You know to what I refer. I often tell 
to my pianoforte what I want to tell to you. Kostuś will be 
pleased when I tell him you have written and are coming, or 
at least promising to come. You must carry out your intention 
of coming, I should be beside myself with joy if I could travel 
with you; but I have to travel differently from you; I shall go 
from Vienna to Italy to study, and next winter I expect to be 
with Hube in Paris, unless everything changes; which may be 
the case, as Papa would like to send me to Berlin, which I don't 
wish. A propos of Berlin, old Pruszak is going to Gdańsk. Paulin 
Łączyński, whom I met lately, declares that Pruszak won't 
hold out for the winter without his wife. However that may be, 
Pani Pruszak is determined to stay at Dresden till Christmas. 
If I go to Vienna, perhaps I could go to Dresden and Prague on 
the way, to see Klengel, the Prague Conservatorium, etc., again. 
In that case, how glad I should be to see Kostuś. Obniski asks 
to be remembered to you. I met Geysmer the day before yester- 
day. I hope I shall see you before leaving Warsaw; I may have 
to go in November, but not till the end of the month. We never 
said goodbye; your last words were: "Then I'll send you my 
bag." Imagine, my hold-all was lost on the way back from 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Panna Bronikowska's wedding! That's enough; I may bore you 
with these banalities, and I would hate to do anything you 
dislike. If you can, write me two words, and you'll make me 
happy for several weeks. Forgive me for sending you the waltz; 
perhaps it will make you angry with me, but really I did it to 
give you pleasure, for I do love you desperately. 

F. Chopin 



39. 

To the Same. 

Warsaw, 20 October 1829. 

Dearest Tytus! 

You will perhaps wonder how I got such a mania for letter- 
writing; this is the third to you in such a short time. I start at 
7 this evening by diligence for the Wiesołowskis' in the province 
of Poznań [Posen] and am writing first, because I don't know 
how long I shall be there. My passport is taken only for a month, 
as I expect to get back in two weeks. The reason of my journey is 
that Radziwiłł will be on his estate beyond Kalisz. You see, there 
were all sorts of beautiful offers about my going to Berlin and 
living in his palace; very amusing; but I don't see any advan- 
tage in it, even if it could come off, which I doubt. It is not the 
first gracious favour on a piebald horse 1 that I have seen. But 
Papa wont believe that it was only des belles paroles, 2 and that 
is why I have to go, as I think I have already told you. You see 
how kind I am; I'm ready to tell you the same thing ten times 
over, and always as news. 

Pani Pruska came yesterday, and told me that Panna Wanda 
has recovered, and that Kostuś is bored in Dresden, which I 
can scarcely believe. Mme Soliwa and the children went last 
week to Italy, to her mother-in-law. I heard it from Ernemann, 
whom I met at Kessler's quartet evening. 

You must know that Kessler gives little musical evenings on 

1 A Polish proverb. 

2 Fine phrases. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Fridays. They all meet and play; no pre-arranged programme; 
everybody plays what falls under his hand. So, last Friday 
week we had Ries's C sharp minor concerto, in quartet; Hum- 
mel's E major Trio; Beethoven's last Quartet — I haven't heard 
anything so great for a long time; Beethoven snaps his fingers 
at the whole world — then a Quatuor of Prince Ferdinand of 
Prussia, alias Dussek; * and finally some singing; or rather, not 
singing, but a parody of singing, which was really extraordinary. 
You must learn that Zimmermann, who plays the flute, possesses 
a peculiarly funny voice, which he produces with the help of 
cheeks and hand. It's something like a cat, and something like a 
calf. Nowakowski also can make a queer voice, like a small, out- 
of-tune toy whistle; he does it somehow by squeezing his lips 
flat. Filip, taking advantage of this, has written a duet for Zim- 
mermann and Nowakowski, with a choir; it's sheer absurdity, 
but very well done, and so comic that there was no leaving off. 
It came after the Beethoven Trio, but did not erase the tremen- 
dous impression which that work had made on me, all the more 
as it was very well played. Serwaczyński accompanied, and he 
is an excellent accompanist. He is to give a concert this week. 
In my opinion that is a pity ; but people explain it by his wanting 
to stay here, which would be nice ; he wants to teach, and thinks 
this the best way to get pupils. When I come back and you are 
in Warsaw, we will play the Trio two or three times ; he has prom- 
ised me this. Bielaski needs such a lot of coaxing, and there is 
not much difference; he really accompanies very well. 

Eisner likes the adagio of the concerto; he says it is new. 
About the Rondo I don't want anyone's opinion just yet, be- 
cause I am not yet quite satisfied with it myself. I wonder whether 
I shall get it quite finished when I come back, or not. I heard 
yesterday that some girl has arrived here from Petersburg; I 
don't remember her name. She is said to be very young and 
to play the fiddle astonishingly. Next Sunday they are to give 
a revival of Kurpinski's old opera: The Palace of Lucifer. 2 I 

1 Joh. L. Dussek (Duschek), 1761-1812, Bohemian composer, was a close 
friend of Prince Ludw. Ferd. of Prussia, who was also a musician, and for whose 
death in battle he wrote his Harmonic Elegy. 

2 Pałac Lucypera, opera. First performance, 1811; by K. Kurpiński, 1785-1857; 
Polish composer and conductor. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

meet Oborski; Obniski is Magister, with a tip-top degree, Mas- 
łowski ditto. Barciński writes from Geneva, sends greetings to 
you, has been to Schaffhausen with Jędrzejewicz. Barciński goes 
back to France, and the other to Munich. 

Many thanks for the note, written by your brother; I was 
pleased to have it. You are fortunate that, when you wish it, you 
can make people happy and gay; you don't know how cross I 
was in the morning and how sweet-tempered after dinner, when 
the letter had come. I must stop now, as I have several things to 
see to before the journey. I embrace you heartily; people usu- 
ally end their letters that way without thinking what they write ; 
but believe me that I do mean what I write, because I love you. 

F. Ch. 

I have done a big Exercise en forme in a way of my own ; I will 
show it to you when we meet. 



40. 

To the Same. 

Warsaw, 14 November 1829. 

Dearest Tytus! 

I received your last letter, in which you send me a kiss, at 
Antonin, at the Radziwiłłs'. I was there a week; you can't think 
how I enjoyed it. I came back by the last post; and even then I 
was scarcely allowed to leave. So far as my temporary personal 
pleasure went, I would have stopped there till they turned me 
out; but my affairs, and particularly my unfinished concerto, 
which is waiting impatiently for the completion of its finale, 
spurred me on to abandon that paradise. There were two Eves 
in it: — young princesses, very kind and friendly, musical, sen- 
sitive creatures. The old princess, too, knows that it is not birth 
which makes a person, and her behaviour so draws one to her 
that it is impossible not to love her. You know how fond of 
music he is; he showed me his Faust, and I found in it many 

73 



chopin's letters 

things showing so much ingenuity, even genius, that I would 
never have expected it from a viceroy. Among others, there is 
one scene, where Mephistopheles tempts Gretchen, playing on 
the guitar and singing before her house, and at the same time 
you hear choral singing from the neighbouring church. In per- 
formance this contrast would produce a great effect; on paper 
you can see the skilfully constructed song, or rather diabolical 
accompaniment, against a very solemn chorale. This will give 
you a notion of his way of regarding music; — in addition, he 
is a whole-hearted Gluckist. Theatre music, for him, is of value 
in so far as it paints the situations and emotions; therefore his 
overture has no finale, is only an introduction ; and the orchestra 
is kept all the time off the stage, so that no movement of bows, 
no blowing nor exertion shall be visible. I wrote while there an 
Alia Polacca with a violoncello. 1 There is nothing in it but glit- 
ter; a salon piece, for ladies; you see, I wanted Princess Wanda 
to learn it. I have been giving her lessons. She is quite young: 
17, and pretty; really it was a joy to guide her little fingers. But 
joking apart, she has a lot of real musical feeling; one did not 
have to say: crescendo here, piano there; now quicker, now 
slower, and so on. I could not refuse to send them my polo- 
naise in F minor, which captivated Princess Eliza; so please 
send it to me by the first post; I don't want them to think me dis- 
courteous, and I don't want to write it out from memory, my 
Dear, because perhaps I might get it down wrong. It will give you 
a notion of the character of this princess, that I had to play her 
this polonaise, and nothing pleased her so much as the A flat 
Trio. They are all excellent folk. On the way home I went to 
an evening party at Kalisz; Pani Lączyńska and Panna Bier- 
nacka were there. She insisted on my dancing, so I had to dance 
the Mazur, with a girl who is even prettier than she, or any- 
how quite as pretty: Panna Paulina Nieszkowska, who will not 
marry General Mycielski, who is paying his addresses to her. 
Panna Biernacka talked a lot to me about you and your brother, 
and one could see what tender feelings that winter spent in 
Warsaw had aroused in her. I talked the whole evening with 
her, or rather asked and answered questions; I never liked her 
» Op. 3. [Op.] 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

so much as that evening, especially when she spoke of the lov- 
able character of Pan Karol. I am not joking. I told her that 
you would hear all about the evening, that I should complain 
to you of her having made me dance ; but she was not afraid of 
you. I met her father, his Sulisławice is near Antonin. One of 
the fine things to see at that party was the dancing of Jaxa Mar- 
cinkowski ; he capered in muddy boots, till he nearly fell down. 
I was only one day in Kalisz. Kostuś has written to me, but I 
have not answered yet. Princess Radziwiłł wants me to go to 
Berlin in May, so there is nothing to prevent my spending the 
winter in Vienna. I don't think I shall leave here till December. 
Papa's name-day is the 6th, so probably I shall go towards the 
end of the month, therefore I hope to see you first, and am mak- 
ing no plans. If I should go before you come, which probably 
will not be the case, I would write to you; there is nothing I 
more desire than to see you — especially abroad. You can't 
think how much I feel that something is missing in Warsaw now; 
I have no one I can speak two words to, no one to turn to with 
confidence. You want my portrait; if I could steal one from 
Princess Eliza, I would send it to you; she has drawn me twice 
in her album and, I am told, has got a good likeness. Mieroszew- 
ski has no time now ; my life, you are too kind ; and believe me, 
I am nearly always with you; I will never desert you, I shall 
be till death your most affectionate 

F. Ch. 

I remind you again of the F minor Polonaise; please, my Life, 
send it to me by the first post. 

I have written a few Exercises ; I could play them well to you. 
Papa, Mamma, the children and Żywny all greet you. Jędrze- 
jewicz has written from Vienna; he is coming home. Kurpiń- 
ski's " Palace of Lucifer " was given, but was not a success. 

Last Saturday, at the Resource, Kessler played Hummel's 
E major concerto. Serwaczyński also played. Perhaps I shall 
play next Saturday; if so I shall play your 1 Variations. Mme 
Bourgeois Schiroli, a beautiful contralto, sang twice at musical 
evenings at Soliwa's, Teichmann tells me. Panna Wołków is in 

1 his by dedication. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

mourning for her mother, and Panna Gładkowska has a band- 
aged eye. Żyliński has even sung with Mme Schiroli; but he 
says he felt like a rat beside her. That is all the news I have. I 
have not seen Max for a long time, but he is probably well. 
Gaszyński has written a little comedy in verse for the Theatre of 
Varieties to which everybody is rushing now. The title is: The 
Doctor's Waiting-room. Gąsie is well; Rinaldi asks after you 
every time he meets me. Next Sunday will be played : The Mil- 
lionaire {Bauer als Millionâr) ; a little comic opera by Dechse- 
ler. I don't know why they play this German rubbish here; I 
suppose for the stage decorations and various ludicrous meta- 
morphoses which amuse children. They will rush for it. Sachetti 
was to do the scene painting. That is all that comes to my pen. I 
am not writing to tell news; just to be in your company. Once 
more let me embrace you. 

F. Ch. 



41. 

To the Same. 

[Warsaw] Saturday, 27 March 1830. 

My dearest Life! 

I have never missed you as I do now; I have no one to pour 
things out to, I have not you. One look from you after each con- 
cert would be more to me than all the praises of the journalists, 
of the Eisners, the Kurpińskis, Soliwas, and so on. Directly after 
receiving your letter, I wanted to give you an account of my 
first concert; but I was so distracted, and so busy with prepara- 
tions for the second one, which I gave on Monday, that when 
I sat down I could not collect my thoughts. I am still in the same 
condition today ; but, as the post is going I will not wait for a mo- 
ment of mental quiet: so rare a moment with me. About the 
first concert: the hall was full, and both boxes and stalls were 
sold out three days beforehand, but it did not produce on the 
mass of the audience the impression I expected. The first Al- 
legro is accessible only to the few; there were some bravos, but 

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I think only because they were puzzled: — What is this? and had 
to pose as connoisseurs! The Adagio and Rondo had more effect; 
one heard some spontaneous shouts ; but as for the Potpourri on 
Polish themes, 1 in my opinion it failed to come off. They ap- 
plauded, in the spirit of: let him go away knowing we were not 
bored. Kurpiński found new beauties in my concerto that eve- 
ning; but Wiman still admitted that he can't see what people 
find in my Allegro. Ernemann was quite satisfied; Eisner com- 
plained that my pantaleon was dull, and that he couldn't hear 
the bass passages. That evening the " gods " and the people 
sitting in the orchestra were quite content; on the other hand, the 
pit complained that I played too softly; they would have pre- 
ferred to be at Kopciuszek's 2 to hear the discussions which ap- 
parently centred round my person. Therefore, Mochnacki, prais- 
ing me to the skies in the Polish Courier, — especially for the 
Adagio, ended by counselling more energy. I guessed where 
this energy lies, so at the next concert I played on a Viennese 
piano instead of on my own. Diaków, the Russian general, was 
kind enough to lend me his own instrument, which is better than 
Hummel's; and consequently the audience, an even larger one 
than before, was pleased. Clapping, exclamations that I had 
played better the second time than the first, that every note 
was like a pearl, and so on ; calling me back, yelling for a third 
concert. The Krakowiak Rondo produced a tremendous effect, 
the applause bursting out again four times. Kurpiński regretted 
that I did not play the Fantasia on the Viennese piano, as did 
Grzymała the next morning in the Polish Courier. Eisner says 
it's only after this second concert that people can judge of me; 
although I sincerely prefer to play on my own piano. However, 
the universal verdict is that the other instrument is better suited 
to the place. You know the programme of the first concert; 
the second began with Nowakowski's symphony {par complai- 
sance) ; 3 then the first Allegro from the concerto. Bielawski 
played Beriot's Variations; then the Adagio and Rondo. The 
second part started with the Krakowiak Rondo; then Pani Majer 
sang, better than ever, Soliwa's air from Henela and Malwina. 

1 Op. 13. 

2 A café frequented by artistic and literary persons. [Op.] 

3 by courtesy. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Finally I improvised, which greatly pleased the first tier boxes. 
If I am to tell you the truth, I did not improvise as I should have 
wished to do ; it would have been not for that public. Neverthe- 
less I am surprised that the Adagio was so generally admired; 
wherever I turn, I hear only about the Adagio. Doubtless you 
have all the newspapers, or at least the principal ones; so you 
will see that they were pleased. Moriolówna [Mlle de Moriolles] 
sent me a laurel wreath, and today I received somebody's verses. 
Orłowski has written some mazurkas and waltzes on the themes 
of my concerto. Sennewald, Brzezina's accompanist, asked me 
for my portrait, but I could not allow that, as it would be too 
much at once, and I don't want anyone to wrap up butter in me, 
as happened with Lelewel's portrait. 

I will send it to you, as soon as possible ; if you want it you 
shall have it ; but no one else except you shall have my portrait. 
There is only one other person to whom I would give it, and 
even then to you first, for you are my dearest. No one but my- 
self has read your letter. As always, I carry your letters about 
with me. What joy it will be, in May, when I get outside the walls 
of the town, to think of my approaching journey, and get out 
your letter and really convince myself that you care for me, or 
at least to look at the handwriting and signature of the person 
I love so much ! Last week they wanted me to give one more con- 
cert ; but I won't. You can't think what misery are the last three 
days before a concert. For the rest, I shall finish the opening 
Allegro of the 2nd Concerto before the holidays, and then wait 
with my third concert till after the holidays; although I know 
that I might have a larger audience now, because the whole 
fashionable world wants to hear me again. Among the voices 
from the stalls at the last concert, calling for a third one, some- 
body cried out: — " Town Hall " so loud that I heard it from 
the stage; but I don't think I shall obey; if I do give another 
it will be in the theatre. It is not a question of money, for the 
theatre did not bring in much, as everything was handed to the 
cashier and he did as he liked. From both concerts, after cover- 
ing the cost, I had less than 5,000, though Dmuszewski said they 
had never had so large an audience for a pianoforte concert as 
for the first one, and the second was still bigger. But the point 

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ĆH0PIN*S LETTERS 

is that at the Town Hall, with just as much trouble, there would 
be little more result: I should still be playing not for everybody, 
but either for the highest class, or for the crowd. I feel, more 
than ever before, that the man has not been born who can please 
everyone. Dobrzyński is annoyed with me because I did not take 
his symphony; Pani Wodzińska is angry because I did not re- 
serve a box for her; and so on. A propos of Wodzińska, whom 
I met two days ago at the Pruszak's at Marjan's name-day party, 
it reminds me that I also met your brother there; he still has 
his good moments, and sent greetings to you. Shortly before the 
name-day, — I think on St. Joseph's day, — they celebrated the 
25-year jubilee of their marriage, alias silver wedding. Natu- 
rally the dinner could not go off without milk foods and various 
rustic dainties; no, that's not for me. Yesterday I dined at 
Moriol's x and went on a party at Diakow's, where I saw Soliwa. 
He sent greetings to you and promised to give me some letter 
for you one day. Kaczyński and I played Hummel's La Rubi- 
nelle, and there was some fairly good music. I don't want to stop 
writing, all the more because I believe I have not put down what 
I wanted, to amuse you. I kept everything back for the dessert, 
and now there is no other dessert than a hearty embrace, for I 
have no one but you. 

F. Chopin 

Papa, Mamma and the children all send you best greetings. 
Żywny. I see Max, and have been to the theatre at Potocki's and 
to a musical evening at Pani Nakwaska's. I saw Lączyński lately 
in a hackney coach. 

1 Count M. de Moriolles; tutor to the son of the Grand Duke Constantine of 
Russia. Chopin was on terms of friendship with de Moriolles' daughter (referred to 
as "Moriolka") and had played before the Grand Duke at the palace in Warsaw. 



79 



CHOPIn's LETTERS 



42. 

To the Same. 

Warsaw, 10 April, 1830. Saturday; the anniversary of 
Emiljds death! x 

My dearest Life! 

I wanted to write to you last week, but it went so fast that 
I don't know where it's gone. You must know that our world 
has gone music crazy, has not slacked off even for Holy Week; 
and last Monday there was a big evening at Filipino's, where 
Mme Sauvan sang the duet from Semiramide 2 beautifully, and 
I had to accompany the buffo duet from the Turk, 3 which was 
sung by repeated request, by Soliwa and Gresser. I won't write 
you any more details except that Pani Gładkowska asked after 
you. 

Everything is ready for the coming evening at the Lewicki's, 
when among other numbers Prince Galitzin will play Rode's 
Quartet; there will be Hummel's La Sentinelle, 4 and at the end 
my Polonaise with the violoncello, to which I have added an 
Adagio introduction, specially for Kaczyński. We have tried it, 
and it is all right. There is my drawing-room musical news; now 
I come to press news about music, which is less important for me 
than the other, especially as there are fairly gracious criticisms 
of me ; I should like to send them to you. In one half-sheet long 
article in the Warsaw Gazette there must be a good deal of 
sneering at Eisner, for Soliwa told me at Moriol's dinner that 
if he were not afraid to give provocation, having lady pupils to 
bring out, he should have answered it himself. He also told me 
that you had written to him; I hope that if he answers you he 
will not miss the opportunity. It is difficult to give you an idea 
of all this in a few words; if I could I would send you the news- 

1 His youngest sister. 

2 Opera by Rossini. 1st performance 1823. 

3 II Turco in Italia: opera by Rossini. 1st performance 1814. 

4 Apparently a mistake; I can find no trace of such an opera by Hummel. It 
may be: La Sentinelle; Devint (?), 1798 (?), or: La Sentinella Nottorna; Agnelli, 
1817. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

papers, so that you could understand the thing properly. But 
as a word to the wise is enough, I will just sketch what has hap- 
pened. After my concerts there was a flood of press notices, par- 
ticularly in the Polish Courier; though their praises were some- 
what exaggerated, they were still possible. The Official Bulletin 
also devoted some pages to panegyrics, but with the best inten- 
tions, it included in one number such preposterous remarks that 
I felt desperate when I read an answer in the Polish Gazette, 
which quite justly deprived me of the exaggerated attributes 
given me by the other. You must know that in that article the 
Official Bulletin declared that the Poles should be as proud of 
me as the Germans are of Mozart; obvious nonsense. But in the 
same article the writer says that if I had fallen into the hands 
of some pedant or Rossinist — which is a stupid term — I should 
not have been what I am. I am nothing, but he is right in saying 
that, if I had not been taught by Eisner, who imbued me with 
convictions, I should doubtless have accomplished still less than 
I now have. This sneer against Rossinists and indirect praise of 
Eisner infuriated you know whom to such an extent that the War- 
saw Gazette, beginning with Fredro's " Friends " * and finishing 
with " Count Ory," 2 bursts out in the middle with: Why are 
we to be grateful to Eisner, who is not going to shake pupils out 
of his sleeves; — then, if you please, it points out that, besides 
me, there was Nowakowski's symphony at my concert, and 
" even the devil can't make a whip out of sand." 8 35 years ago 
Eisner wrote a quartet, which bears on the title-page : " dans le 
meilleur goût polonais "; 4 the words were doubtless added by 
the publisher on account of the Polish minuet. The article jeers 
at this quartet without mentioning the composer. Soliwa says, 
he could jeer at Cecilia 5 in the same words; moreover, this arti- 
cle, always referring to me in the most delicate and loving way, 
several times makes a long nose at me, and advises me to study 
Rossini, but not to copy him. This advice is in consequence 
of the other article, which spoke of me as original; this the 

1 A comedy by Fredro. 

2 Opera by Rossini: Le Comte Ory. 1st performance 1828. 

3 You can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. 

4 "In the best Polish style." 
B St. Cecilia? 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Warsaw Gazette will not admit. I am invited to the Easter meal 1 
at Minasowicz's the day after tomorrow; Kurpiński will be there. 
I wonder what he will say to me. You don't know how affec- 
tionately he always greets me. I saw him at Leszkiewicz's con- 
cert on Wednesday week. Young Leszkiewicz plays very well, 
but still chiefly from the elbow. All the same, I believe he will 
turn out a better player than Krogulski. I have not yet ven- 
tured to express this opinion, although people have several 
times tried to pump me. But enough of this music; now I start 
to write not to Sir Music-Lover, but to Tytus Wojciechowski, 
landowner. 

Yesterday was Good Friday; all Warsaw went to visit graves; 
and I drove from one end of the city to the other with Kostuś, 
who returned from Sanniki the day before yesterday. Kot sends 
you greetings, and à propos informs you of the following: — 
"When I sat down to lunch with Panna Alexandra after the 
morning lesson, a conversation started ; Pani Sowińska was told 
of Panna Alexandra's engagement to Pan Mleczko. I say that I 
had not heard of it; then I am told that, as they know my good 
will to the household, they inform me that Pan Mleczko has made 
a declaration after a scene of great emotion. Pani Pruszak says 
she never had so dreadful a moment as when he threw himself 
at her feet in tears, etc. — Wishing to know what came of it, I 
wait to hear the result of the declaration; and am told that al- 
though Pan M. is getting on, Panna A. is still too young, so they 
are to wait a year — i.e. till Panna A's next birthday, when she 
will herself be able to decide whether to accept or refuse the 
offer. All the same, Pan M. visited graves with them yesterday. 
Obniski sends you greetings; Geysmer sends you greetings. I met 
Lączyński the day before yesterday; he has grown terribly thin 
— and I saw brother Karol, who looks as healthy as a flower- 
bud. Aha, the Brief trâger! 2 and a letter — from you! Oh, my 
dearest, how good you are! That I think of you, that is not sur- 
prising! — I see from your letter that you have read only the 
Warsaw Courier; read the Polish Couriers and the 91st No. of 
the Warsaw Gazette. Your advice about evening parties is sound, 

1 Święcony (consecrated): a ceremonial lunch on Easter day, with special 
cakes, Easter eggs, etc. . . . The food is blessed by a priest. 

2 postman. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

and I have declined several invitations to them, as if I had a 
presentiment of your view; you don't know how my thoughts 
turn to you before every action. I don't know whether it is be- 
cause it was with you that I learned to feel, but whenever I 
write anything, I want to know whether you like it, and I think 
my second Concerto in E minor will have no value in my judg- 
ment till you have heard it. Bromirski called today to invite me 
for Thursday, and I assure you that you can see him going 
away with a refusal. As for Gąsie, I met him two days ago, and 
we talked of you ; he is melancholy, and complains that circum- 
stances are unfavourable to the arts. When I see him, I hope to- 
day, I will tell him that you have written. I have no nonsense 
at hand to send you; and it's not worth while. As for the 3rd 
concert, which people here are expecting, I shan't give it, be- 
cause I should have to give another just before leaving. That 
new one is not yet finished ; I should play the Polish Fantasia, 
by request, and your Variations, for which only I am waiting. As 
the Leipsic fair has begun, Brzezina too can get conveyed there. 
That Frenchman from Petersburg, that people take for another 
Field — the man that wanted to treat me to champagne at the 
2nd concert, — he is a pupil of the Paris Conservatoire, and is 
called Dunst. He called on Soliwa, and told him he would call 
on me, but I have not seen him yet. He has given a concert in 
Petersburg and had a success, so he must play well. You are 
doubtless surprised that a Frenchman from Petersburg should 
have a German name. Kocio has just arrived with Walery Skar- 
żyński, and the Gendre x is travelling with them. The carriages 
roll, the ladies' hats blaze from the distance; a beautiful time. 
Here comes Celiński, who disposes of my promenades; he is a 
good fellow, he looks after my health. I'll go out with him ; per- 
haps I may see someone who will remind me of you; you are 
the only person I love. 

F. Chopin 

My Parents and sisters send you their best compliments. And 
Pan Żywny; he would scold me otherwise. 

A propos, here is some comic news: Orłowski has made my 

1 son-in-law. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 



themes into mazurkas and gallops; however, I have asked him 
not to print them. 

" Count Ory " is good, especially the orchestration and cho- 
ruses. The finale of the first act is beautiful. 



43. 
To the Same. 
Warsaw, 17 April 1830 Father s name-day. 

My dearest Life! 

What a relief in my intolerable boredom when I get a letter 
from you; just today I needed it, I was more bored than ever. 
I wish I could throw off the thoughts that poison my happiness, 
and yet I love to indulge in them; don't know myself what is 
wrong with me ; perhaps I shall be more tranquil after this let- 
ter; you know how I love writing to you. You say you have 
become a guardian, which made me laugh. You tell me about 
some cotillon, and I guess that it must have been Walery's work. 
You say that perhaps you are going to come ; that rejoiced me, 
for I too shall stay over for the Sejm. 1 You doubtless know from 
the papers, which, luckily for me, you keep, that it opens on 
May the 28th, so our hope will last for a whole month, especially 
as the Courier announces Frâulein Sontag. Dmuszewski is the 
same as ever; tells lies, invents various queer things. I met 
him yesterday, and he told me the absurd news that he is bring- 
ing out, in the Courier, a sonnet to me. " For the Lord's sake," 
said I — " don't do such silly things." — " It's already in print," 
said he, with the smile of one doing a kindness, apparently sup- 
posing that I ought to be glad to have met with such an honour. 
A poor sort of kindness! Everyone that has anything against me 
will again have a chance to jeer. As for the mazurkas on my 
themes, the commercial love of gain has conquered. I don't 
want to read anything more that people write about me, or to 
hear anything they say. 

1 Parliament; Diet; suppressed after the insurrection. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

On Sunday I should have liked just to hear what Kurpiński 
had to say about the Warsaw Gazette article; but as luck would 
have it I did not find him among all the notabilities at Mina- 
sowicz's Easter feast. He was not there; Ernemann was the only 
musician present. As I wanted to see how he would receive me, 
I called on him with Easter wishes, but missed him both times. 
Today I saw Soliwa. Perhaps he's a tricky Italian; but he showed 
me what he has written in reply to that article; nota bene in 
French, and for himself, not for publication in any paper; it 
was excellent; he justly rebukes them on Eisner's account, with- 
out mentioning any names. He is affectionate to my face, but 
it's worthless; and I am polite, but don't go near him when I can 
possibly help it, in spite of his invitations. Ernemann called on 
me; he thinks the opening Alio 1 better in the new concerto; he 
came yesterday, just as Kostuś was leaving. I was there today; 
the journey to Dresden is put off on account of the Sejm; the last 
new project is that Kostuś and Hube, the same univ. prof, with 
whom I travelled last year, should make a little trip through 
France and Italy. Hube, as he told me two days ago, intended to 
go straight to Paris, stay a while, and go on to Italy for the winter, 
spending January in Naples, where I was to meet him. Kostuś 
went to him this morning, to get a better idea of him and of his 
plans. If they go, it won't be till June, even the end of the 
month. Magnus went to Vienna a week ago ; he is to come back 
the end of this month. I hope not with empty hands. Tomorrow 
is the Magic Flute, and the day after is a concert of a blind 
flutist, Griinberg, about whom I wrote to you. He wanted me 
to play at his concert. I had a good excuse: That I had already 
refused someone else, and that it would not do to discriminate. 
Malsdorf will play the violoncello for him. That's a great fa- 
vour from the Baron; Szabkiewicz will play the clarinet, and 
yesterday I went to Zylinski's again and he promised to sing 
for him. He wanted me to go to Pani Majer with him; I know 
that she would consent to sing, for me, but she would resent it 
inside ; so I preferred not to ask her, and undertook only to sell 
a few tickets. Pani Pruszak took ten. A propos, at the lesson to- 
day, just in the middle of Kramer's Etude, I learned from her 

1 Allegro. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

that you have sent your wheat to Gdańsk and that perhaps you 
are coming. The news about the wheat comes from M. Charles. 
I answered that you had not written to me, as I am ignorant 
of the subject. It seems to me somewhat queer that you should 
be occupied with wheat; but I believed it because I know how 
you like to work at any thing you have undertaken. The chil- 
dren want to read your letters, but they will never be allowed 
to; I keep them for myself alone and read them in my heart 
every day; so Ludwika is cross, all the more because I told her 
that you had sent no message for her. Tomorrow is the Russian 
Easter, but I shall not go to anyone's Easter meal. I have never 
eaten so little at Easter before; even at Pruszak's święcony on 
Monday or Sunday, I forget which, when there was a crowd of 
people, with ham and babas, 1 etc., I didn't even stop to din- 
ner. They were going to have a big banquet, Châtelain Lewiń- 
ski, Alfons, the Mleczkows, Dziewanowski, who seemed to me 
detestable, — everybody. N. has asked me to hold his baby 
boy at the christening; I could not refuse, all the more as it 
is the wish of the unhappy woman who is leaving for Gdańsk. 
Pani Pruszak is to be my fellow godparent. This is to be a secret 
from my family, who do not know about it. Do you know, I was 
preparing to go to you last week; but it came to nothing; partly 
because I have urgent work; I've got to write like fury. If you 
come to Warsaw while the Sejm is sitting, you will certainly 
be here for my concert, — I have a sort q( presentiment — I 
shall believe in it implicitly, however it turns out, for I often 
dream of you. How often I take night for day, and day for night; 
how often I live in my dreams, and sleep in the daytime; — 
worse than sleep, because I feel just the same; and instead of 
recuperating during that state of numbness, as one does in 
sleep, I get weaker and more tired than ever; — love me, please. 

F. Chopin 

My parents send you best greetings, 2 — and the children, 
and Żywny. 

1 traditional Easter foods. 

2 word doubtful. 



86 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



44. 

To the Same. 

Warsaw, 15 May 1830. Saturday. 

My dearest Life! 

You are probably surprised that Fryc did not answer your 
letter at once, but I did not know the thing you asked me about 
in that letter, so I had to wait. So now learn, my little Soul, that 
Frâulein Sonntag will certainly be here in June and perhaps by 
the end of May. Also that the ladies G. and W., 1 in obedience 
to an order issued by His Excellency the Minister Mostowski, 
are to appear, one in Paer's Agnes, 2 the other — i.e. W. — in 
The Turk. What do you think of such a choice of operas? Yes- 
terday I was at an evening at Soliwa's; there was scarcely any- 
one there but the Sauvans and the Gressers. G. sang an aria, 
specially written into the opera for her by Soliwa, which is to be 
her show piece. It really has quite good bits, and suits her voice 
in places. W. is to sing in The Turk, also an air inserted to show 
off her voice; it's by Rossini, written for one of the best singers, 
who appeared in that opera. She sings it well; you will agree 
when you come. I suppose you will not miss the opportunity to 
hear Sonntag. How grateful I am to that Sonntag! She is said 
to be in Gdańsk already, and then comes on to us. But altogether 
we're going to have plenty of music. Woerlitzer, pianist to His 
Majesty the King of Prussia, has been here for two weeks. He 
plays excellently. He's a little Jew, very intelligent by nature, 
and has played us several things which he has learned very thor- 
oughly. He has called on me. He's really only a child still, 16. 
His forte is the Moscheles Variations on Alexander's march. 
He plays them splendidly; I think there is nothing lacking. He 
has been heard twice in public, and both times he has played 
these Variations. When you hear him, you will be pleased with 
his playing; although, between ourselves, he is not up to the 
title that he bears. There is also a Frenchman here, a M. Standt. 

1 Two opera singers: Gładko wska and Wołków. 

2 Agnese: opera by Ferdinand Paer. 1st performance 1819. 

87 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

He thought of giving a concert, came to me, reconsidered the 
matter, and gave it up. But one queer bit of musical gossip is 
that Pan Blahetka, the father of that pianist girl, has written 
to me from Vienna, that she will come, if I advise it, during the 
Sejm sessions. A delicate situation. The German gentleman 
wants money, and if by chance it should turn out a failure, he 
would be annoyed with me. So I answered at once: — That I 
had long been wondering whether he would not undertake this 
trip, and that many persons are anxious to hear her, especially 
the whole musical world ; — but, I delicately inserted : Sonntag 
is coming, Lipiński is coming, there's only one theatre, which 
costs over 100 thalers; there will be balls, Whitsuntide is ap- 
proaching, there will be many excursions, etc., etc. So that I 
should have nothing to reproach myself with. Perhaps she will 
come; I should be glad, and on my side would do all I could 
for her, even if it came to playing on two pantaleons, for you have 
no idea how kind that German was to me in Vienna. Kostus* 
is at Częstochowo with his mother; they come back next week, 
and on June 1st they go with Hube, by way of Berlin, to Paris, 
where they will stay 2| to 3^ months, and then go on through 
Switzerland to Italy. As for my journey, I now don't know what 
will happen. I think that instead of going abroad this year I 
shall wait till I get a fever, and that will be the end. I shall stay 
through June, through July; I shan't even want to get away, on 
account of — well, you already know, on account of nothing, un- 
less it's the heat. The Italian opera in Vienna starts only in Sep- 
tember, so Henneberg told me yesterday, so there's no hurry, 
especially as the Rondo of the new concerto is not finished, and 
for that one must be in the mood. I am not even hurrying with 
it, because, once I've got the opening Allegro, I don't worry 
about the rest. I can give another concert, for I haven't played 
my Variations yet, and Blahetka writes to me that they came out 
lately and that Haslinger has taken them to the Easter fair at 
Leipsic. I hope that Magnus will bring them to me when he re- 
turns from Vienna ; he went to Galicia on his own business, and 
was to go on from there to Vienna. The Adagio of the new con- 
certo is in E major. It is not meant to be loud, it's more of a ro- 
mance, quiet, melancholy; it should give the impression of gaz- 

88 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

ing tenderly at a place which brings to the mind a thousand dear 
memories. It is a sort of meditation in beautiful spring weather, 
but by moonlight. That is why I have muted the accompaniment. 
Mutes are little combs which fiddlers put across their strings to 
deaden them and which give them a sort of nasal, silvery tone. 
Perhaps that's bad, but why should one be ashamed of writing 
badly in spite of knowing better — it's results that show errors. 
Here you doubtless observe my tendency to do wrong against 
my will. As something has involuntarily crept into my head 
through my eyes, I love to indulge it, even though it may be all 
wrong. I know you understand. Pani Pruszak and I held N.'s 
adopted boy for the christening; you have no idea what a lovely 
child. Mlle Dupont was married at 7 this morning to Pan Cechow- 
ski, Pana Skrodska's brother. Dr. Bixel, that old doctor of 63, 
has married his dead wife's niece, a girl of 17. The whole 
church was full of sightseers, and the bride could not under- 
stand why people pitied her; I know that from the bridesmaid, 
Moriolles's daughter. As soon as I have posted this letter, I shall 
go and call, as they have sent to me. You know what favourites 
of mine they are; I willingly admit it; but one must be docile and 
respect the disguises of hidden feelings. You know, I should 
never have believed that I could be so secretive as I am when 
I have not the heart to tell you what is distressing me. Today I 
go to the theatre. Pan Smochowski, a new tragedian from Lwow 
[Lemberg], is to play the part of Werowski in Teresa, the Or- 
phan of Geneva. 1 I don't expect much of his acting, but I'll see 
what it's like. They say that Pasta is coming, but I doubt it. There 
is more likelihood of the famous though rather passée singer 
Frau Milder Hauptmann. Romberg also is expected. Let them 
come; I rely on you and hope that this time you will be here 
for my concerto. I think I shall try the opening allegro, in the 
house, at the end of May; that is, in two weeks. I shall play it 
early in June, so as to be done with it before the general enter- 
tainments announced by the Courier. So write to me, when you 
are sure to be in Warsaw; I should be more disappointed than 
the first time if I had to do my show act without you. No, you 
don't know how much I love you, I can't show it to you in any 

1 A play. 

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chopin's letters 

way, and I nave wished for so long that you could know. Ah, 
what would I not give, just to press your hand, you can't guess — 
half of my wretched life. 

F. Chopin 

I don't tell you the concert programme, for I don't know it 
yet. I shall try to get Teichmann. He was to have sung the duet 
from Armida with Pani Majer at my second concert, as he was 
nervous about singing alone ; but unfortunately it had been sung 
the week before by Pani Cymmermann and Polkowski, so Kur- 
piński did not want it repeated, as it would suggest an intention 
of showing that they can sing it better. I have written such a lot, 
and still I should like to go on. I meant to send you a new waltz 
to amuse you, but you shall have it next week. 

The parents and children send you best greetings. Żywny also 
ioins. 



45. 

To the Same. 
Warsaw, 5 June 1830. 

My dearest Life! 

You have missed 5 of Frâulein Sonntag's concerts ! But don't 
grieve, for you will still hear her if you really come on the 13th. 
I think that date will be a Sunday, and you will arrive just 
when I shall have the first home rehearsal of the Allegro of the 
2nd Concerto, taking advantage of the absence of Sonntag, who 
told me yesterday with her own charming lips that she is going 
to Fischbach at the request of the King of Prussia. You can't 
think how delightful it was to meet her more intimately, just in 
the house, on a sofa. You know, we think of nothing but this mes- 
senger of God, as some enthusiasts here have named her. Prince 
Radziwiłł introduced me to her in the best possible way; I am 
most grateful to him. During the week that she has been here, 
I have not profited much by the acquaintance, as I saw that she 

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was worn out by incredibly dull visitors: governors of fortresses, 
generals, voyevodas, 1 senators and adjutants, who just sat there 
gaping at her and talking about the weather. She receives them 
all most courteously; she is too kind-hearted for anything else, 
but yesterday, before she could go to the theatre for rehearsal, 
she was forced to lock her door in order to put on her hat; the 
manservant in the vestibule is overwhelmed by the callers. I have 
not called on her once, but she has asked me about a song which 
Radziwiłł arranged for her and gave to me to copy. It's a set of 
Variations on an Ukrainian Dumka. 2 The theme and cadence are 
lovely, but I don't like the middle, nor does Sonntag. I have 
altered it a little, but it's still not good. I'm glad she is going away 
after today's concert; it will relieve me of this worry, and mean- 
while perhaps Radziwiłł will come for the end of the Sejm, and 
withdraw his variations. Sonntag is not beautiful, but extraor- 
dinarily pretty. She charms everyone with her voice, which is 
not very big, and we usually hear a range of only: 

ft te 



i 



but it is very highly cultivated; her diminuendi are non plus 
ultra, her portamenti lovely, and especially her ascending chro- 
matic scales are exquisite. She sang us Mercadante's air very, 
very, very beautifully, Rode's Variations; the last one with the 
roulades was particularly good ; the variations on Swiss themes 
were so much admired that, when recalled, instead of bowing to 
express her thanks, she sang them over again ! She is incredibly 
good-natured. Yesterday the same thing happened with Rode's 
variations. She sang us the Cavatina from the Barber, the famous 
one, and from the Magpie ; 3 you can imagine what a difference 
from everything that you have ever heard. She also sang that 

1 Wojewoda: An old Polish military title. 

2 Elegiac folk-song: The Ukraïna is exceptionally rich in folk-tunes; many of 
the Dumki, especially, are of quite extraordinary beauty. 

3 La Gazza Ladra: opera by Rossini. First performance 1817. 

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air from the Freischûtz that you know, marvellously. I called on 
her once, and met Soliwa and the girls there : I heard them sing 
that duet of his, what's it called? — barbara sorte at the end; in 
the major, you know. Sonntag told them that their voices are 
strained; that their method is good but that they must produce 
their voices differently if they don't want to lose them altogether 
in two years. In my presence she told Panna Wołków that she has 
a great deal of facility and many graces of manner, but une voie 
[sic] trop aiguë. She asked them to come to her often, and she 
would do her best to show them her way. It is a supernatural 
amiability ; it is coquetry, carried to such a point that it becomes 
natural; it is impossible to suppose that anyone could be like 
that by nature, without knowing the resources of coquetry. She 
is a million times prettier and more attractive in morning dress 
than in evening and gala costume, although those who have not 
seen her in the morning also fall in love with her. On her return, 
she will give concerts till the 22nd, after which, as I hear from 
her own lips, she goes to St. Petersburg; so hurry, come, and don't 
lose more than those five concerts. Everyone says Pasta is coming 
too, and they are to sing together. There is also a certain Mile 
Bellevile [sic] here, a Frenchwoman, who plays the piano very 
well ; most lightly and elegantly, ten times better than Voerlitzer ; 
she gives a concert on Wednesday. She was at court on that 
famous musical evening when Sonntag was there, and the two 
ladies distinguished themselves. Voerlitzer also was there, but 
was not so much liked ; that I have from Kurpiński, who accom- 
panied Sonntag at court. People have expressed surprise that 
I was not there, but I am not surprised. Kocio Pruszak starts at 
4 this afternoon with Hubę. Pani Pruszak, Oleś and the others 
escort them as far as Łowicz; from there they go with their own 
horses to Kalisz, and from there on by extra post. But a little 
more about Sonntag. She uses a few embroideries of a quite new 
type, which produce an immense effect, though less than those 
of Paganini ; perhaps because the type is slighter. It seems as if 
she breathed some perfume of the freshest flowers into the hall ; 
she caresses, she strokes, she enraptures, but she seldom moves 
to tears. Though Radziwiłł told me she so acts and sings Desde- 
mona's last scene with Othello that no one can refrain from 

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weeping. I mentioned that to her, asking whether she would not 
sing that scene for us in costume; she is said to be a splendid 
actress as well. She answered that really she had often seen tears 
in the spectators' eyes, but that acting tires her, and she had 
made a vow to appear as seldom as possible in dramatic parts. 
So come without fail, and forget your rustic fatigues in the lap 
of pleasure; Sonntag will sing for you and you will renew your 
strength for your work. What a pity that I can't post myself to 
you instead of this letter. Perhaps you would object; but I want 
you, and I expect you clean-shaven. 

F. Chopin 

Today Sonntag sings something from Semiramide. Her con- 
certs are short: usually she sings 4 times, and no one plays be- 
tween except the orchestra. And really her singing is so exciting 
that one needs a rest after it. The girls from the Conservatorium 
will not appear this month. 

Mile Belleville has played my printed Variations in Vienna, 
and knows one of them even by heart. It's a pity that I have 
nothing more to write about; I don't want to get up from this 
letter to part from you — . And do you love me, too? 

This paper blots so much that I shall have to make an en- 
velope. 

Father, Mother, the children, Żywny and all. 

Gąsie says, when you come, he will tell you what he meant to 
write about. 



46. 

To the Same. 

Warsaw, Saturday, 21 August 1830. 

Disgusting Hypocrite! 

This is the second letter I am writing you. You won't believe 
that; you'll say: Fryc is lying; but this time it's the truth. After 
returning here happily with the Baron I wrote to you at once; 
but as my parents were at Żelazowa Wola, it was very natural 

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that I did not stay long in Warsaw, but left a letter to you, which 
was to have been posted. When I came back with my parents on 
Tuesday, I found the letter in the place where I had left it, by 
the tea-cups. Karol, who came to the house during my absence, 
told me he saw it, lying on the cups. It's an ill wind that blows 
nobody good. Perhaps in this letter I shan't abuse you as much 
as I did in the first one when your Poturzyń affairs were fresh in 
my memory. I sincerely assure you that I love to think of all that; 
I feel a sort of homesickness for your fields; I can't forget that 
birch tree under the windows. That cross-bow, — it's so roman- 
tic! I remember how you wore me out over that cross-bow for 
my sins. But I must account to you for my time, I must tell 
you definitely when I am leaving and I must write you various 
important matters. Of all Warsaw I have been most occupied 
with Aniela. 1 I've been to the performance. Gładkowska does not 
lack much; better on the stage than in a hall. Quite apart from 
the tragic acting — splendid, nothing to be said about that, — 
the singing itself, if it weren't for the F sharp, and G, sometimes 
in the high register one could not ask for anything better of its 
kind. As for her phrasing, it would delight you; she shades 
gorgeously, and though on first entering her voice shook a little, 
afterwards she sang very bravely. The opera was cut down ; per- 
haps that is why I did not feel any longwindedness or boredom. 
Soliwa's air is immensely effective in the second act; I knew it 
might produce an effect, but did not expect such a huge one. 
When she sings a romance to the harp in the second act, Erne- 
mann, behind the scenes, plays for her on a piano, without spoil- 
ing the illusion ; the last time she sang it very well. I was pleased. 
At the end Aniela was recalled and showered with applause. A 
week from today will be the first appearance of Fiovilla in the 
Turk. Wołków is better liked. You must know that Aniela has a 
terrible number of opponents, who don't know themselves why 
they criticize the music. I don't deny that this Italian could have 
chosen something better for Gładkowska. The Vestal 2 might 
possibly have brought her better luck, but even this is good, and 

1 I can find no mention of an opera with this title ; but the reference is probably 
to Paër's Agnese. 

2 La Vestale: opera by Spontini; 1st performance 1805. 

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has many rare beauties and difficulties, which she handles re- 
markably for a beginner. Szczurowski is dreadful; scraps of 
Talma, Kemble, Devrient and Żółkowski in turn ; you can't make 
anything of it, he's perfectly cracked. Zdanowicz, according to 
Soliwa,is non plus ultra! Salomonowicz is unfortunate: Naw- 
rocka drawls continually and Żyliński digests his dinner on the 
stage. Yesterday, at the rehearsal of the Turk, he infuriated me 
with his cold-bloodedness ; he counted the Turks as if they were 
sticks. Wołków sang well and acts very well; it's the right part 
for her and she has really got it. Perhaps her eyes do more with 
the public than her throat. She several times took the high D 
cleanly and easily. I have no doubt she will be more liked than 
Gładkowska. The quintet went splendidly. The general was de- 
lighted. Kostuś is in Frankfort with Kinzel ; they will come back 
by Milan, Trieste and Vienna. Hube is still there and won't 
reach Rome till the 15th of next month. What shall I do? I leave 
here the 10th of next month, but I must rehearse my Concerto 
first, as the Rondo is finished. Kaczyński and Bielawski come 
to me tomorrow. My Polonaise with the Violoncello, and the Trio, 
are to be rehearsed incognito at 10 in the morning, before Eisner, 
Ernemann, Żywny and Linowski. We shall play till we drop. 
That is why I have invited no one except these and Matuszyński, 
who has always been decent to me ; not like a certain false Hypo- 
crite, Scoundrel, Wretch, and you can guess who! Kostuś sent 
me greetings by Panna Palczewska. Pani Pruszak is in Marien- 
bad, and Mleczko too ; they have gone there to drink the waters. 
My dear Pietraś Dziew 1 has stopped at Reinertz on his way and 
is taking the whey cure. I saw Oborski at the Varieties; he was 
friendly. Walery is swaggering about the streets with diamond 
studs and the air of a banker. Wincenty is always kind; irre- 
proachable, just as he was a good official. I saw Lączyński (who 
probably is still staying with you, as I should do in his place) 
the day after he came to Warsaw; no doubt he told you. The 
baron is sitting through the assizes ; he is at Conti's, and I have 
seen him only once since he came back; he tells me his mother 
is still very ill. I saw the Governor yesterday and spoke to him 
of you. Karol must have left; he had to get back to the estate. 
1 Dziewanowski. 

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Today they give Hamlet and I am going. Yesterday Panna Riwoli 
[sic], now Pani Krowa, appeared in Olesia Pruszak's role, les 
premiers amours, in Gaszynski's translation. Nivinski plays 
your part well, Jasiński plays Kot's part better than Kot did, 
Szymanowski takes mine scarcely as well as I, a long way be- 
hind Heroch ; and Kratzer — I never in my life saw a better 
means for getting rid of rats. Kucharski, on the other hand: 
c'est du Cherubini. I must hurry to take this letter to the post, 
or the poor thing will be left at home like its brother. Next week 
I shan't be able to refrain from abusing you for the thing I 
ought to have written about today, and that will be enough. I 
don't want anything from you, not even a handshake; I'm dis- 
gusted with you for ever. You're a Hellish Monster. I embrace 
you. 

F. Chopin 

If there are any letters for me, send them retro. Forgive the 
way I write; I'm stupider than ever today. Papa and Mamma and 
my sisters send you best greetings. 



47. 

To the Same. 

Still in Warsaw; Tuesday, 31 August 1830. 

Dearest Tytus! 

I did need your letter; I got rid of my cold when it came. 
If only my two letters might have the blessed result of curing 
you of falseness and hypocrisy when you read them, how happy 
I should be! But I am sure this letter will do nothing of the 
sort; indeed it will probably lead to worse things; it will rouse 
anger in your lion heart, and it's lucky that I'm 40 miles 
away, otherwise the whole weight of your wrath would in- 
stantly fall on me. My guilt is great, but dear to the heart of 
the guilty one; I am still in Warsaw, and — as I love you — 

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nothing tempts me to go abroad. You may believe me that next 
week I really shall go; that is in September, for tomorrow is 
the first; but I go to satisfy my vocation and my reason, which 
last must be very small, since it has not strength enough to de- 
stroy everything else in my head. The journey is getting near, 
and in this week I have a whole concerto to rehearse in quartet, 
to get the quartet into agreement with me, to get a bit familiar 
with it, for Eisner says that without that the rehearsal with the 
orchestra won't go right. Linowski is copying it against time; 
has started on the Rondo. Last Sunday I tried the Trio; I don't 
know, perhaps it's because I had not heard it for a long time, but 
I was rather pleased with myself (lucky person). Only one 
notion came into my head; instead of violins to use violas, be- 
cause on the violin it's the fifth that has most resonance, and 
here it is not much used. The viola will be more powerful 
against the violoncello, which is in its own register ; — and then 
to print. That's enough for me. Now about other musicians. 
You will say that here too I have kept the rules of egoism which 
you gave me. Soliwa screwed up Panna Wołków for last Satur- 
day; what with her coquetry, her good acting and her very 
pretty eyes and teeth, she charmed both stalls and pit. We have 
no other actress so pretty; but in the first act I could not 
recognize her voice. She came out luxuriously dressed, for a 
stroll on the sea beach, — with a lorgnette in her hand ; flashed 
her eyes, turned round so captivatingly that no one would be- 
lieve it was a beginner. But in spite of tremendous clapping and 
bravos, she was so nervous that I did not recognize her till the 
air in the second act, though even that she did not sing as well 
as at the second performance, two days ago, when the first act 
also went better. As for her singing, Gladkowska is incompa- 
rably superior, and, seeing Wołków on the stage, it is even a 
greater difference than I expected. Ernemann and I agreed that 
there won't be a second Gladkowska, as regards purity and 
intonation and higher emotions, as they are understood on the 
stage. Wołków sometimes gets out of tune ; whereas I have twice 
heard the other also in Aniela, and she did not take one doubt- 
ful note. Meeting her the day before yesterday, I delivered 
your compliments, for which she sends you many thanks. 

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Wołków' s reception, according to Celiński, was finer than that 
of the other; which must concern the Italian, because he told 
me yesterday that he did not wish her to be more popular than 
the other, but saw that it would be so. But that, of course, must 
be put down to the Turk, or rather to Rossini, who makes more 
impression on our public, especially when it is also charmed by 
the garments of a young girl and by what is under the gar- 
ments, than all the complaints of an unhappy daughter or the 
most beautiful exaltations of Paër. Gładkowska is to appear 
shortly in the Magpie; " shortly" probably means after I am 
beyond the frontier. Perhaps you will be in Warsaw then; if 
so you can tell me your opinion. Her third role is to be in the 
Vestal. I don't know what Wołków will play. 

The day before yesterday I went for the second time to 
General Szembek's camp. You must know that he is still at the 
consistory at Sochaczew, and asked Michał to bring me to him. 
As, however, it did not come off, he sent Czaykowski, his adju- 
tant, the brother of that Panna Czaykowska who plays and who 
faints, to fetch me to him. Szembek is very musical, plays the 
fiddle well, has studied under Rode, is a thorough-paced Paga- 
ninist, and therefore belongs in a good category musically. He 
ordered his band to perform; they had been practising all the 
morning, and I heard some remarkable things. It's all on 
trumpets: a kind called Bugle; you would not believe that they 
can do chromatic scales, extremely fast, and diminuendo as- 
cending. I had to praise the soloist; poor chap, he doubtless 
won't serve for long, he looks consumptive, and still young. I 
was greatly impressed when I heard the Cavatina from The 
Dumb Girl 1 played on these trumpets with the utmost accuracy 
and delicate shading. He has a piano in the camp; and I don't 
know how it happened, but he really understood me, he was 
not pretending. He was most impressed by the Adagio: wouldn't 
let me go. I was even late for the Turk. A propos, in a certain 
Berlin paper there is a very stupid article about music in 
Warsaw. First they speak about Aniela, 2 praising her very 
justly, both for singing, for feeling and for her acting; then 

1 La Muette de Portici: opera by Auber, 1782-1871. 1st performance 1828. 

2 This appears to refer to Gładkowska in the part. 

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it goes on: "This young artist comes from an institution 
founded under leadership of MM. Eisner, and Soliwa. The first 
is a professor of composition, and has trained several pupils, 
among others MM. Orłowski, Chopin, etc., who may, in time, 
become etc., etc." May the devil carry away such a fellow. 
" On vous a joliment collé," x said Bouquet to me, blinking his 
red eyes; and Ernemann added that I ought to think myself 
lucky to be put into the second place. The article says no 
more about these pupils, and just ends with: " As for apprais- 
ing the work of MM. Eisner, Soliwa and Kurpiński, we will 
leave that till later." Idiotic rubbish by some smart Warsaw 
fellow. I was going to forget about Rinaldi; for heaven's 
sake do send me the book, either by Lączyński or somehow; the 
Italian gives me no peace: why the devil did I forget to bring 
that book back from the Poturzyń people. Kostuś is to be in 
Vienna with Kimmel next month, so old Pruszak tells me; then 
he joins his mother in Dresden and returns to Warsaw; Hube 
meanwhile will range over Italy. My head aches when I think 
of Italy; I believe that . . . 

Enough of this nonsense; forgive me, dear; as always, I've 
written I don't know what to you. But you get enough profit 
from your buckwheat to pay for this letter, even if there were 
nothing in it but a bit of paper from my hand and my signature, 
with which signature I am always ready to appoint an infernal 
. . . 2 for you. Yesterday I had a long time with Wine. Skarżyń- 
ski. He asked a lot about you; he's fond of you. Everyone talks 
to me of Oleś, and no one of somebody. I am glad that the 
secret is buried in my heart, and that what begins with you 
ends with me. And you can be glad that in me you have an abyss 
into which you can safely fling everything, as if into a second 
self, for your own soul has long lain at the bottom of it. I keep 
your letters, as if they were ribbons from a beloved one. I have 
the ribbon; write to me, and in a week I will enjoy myself 
chattering to you again. 

Yours for always 

F. Chopin 



1 They've done you nicely. 

2 word doubtful. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Best greetings from my parents and sisters. Ludwika thanks 
you for your message, which I read to her. Żywny embraces you 
and the acquaintances; Max, Soliwa and so on send compli- 
ments. 

I still don't want to leave this paper. Imagine, Panna F. wants 
to insist that I should attend to her, teach her to play the piano 
and so on. . . . Her father comes to me, not for this; he has 
several times tried to push me towards her, but she does not 
tempt my appetite. The poor girl has to play in public and 
knows nothing. I sent her to Ernemann, and Ernemann doesn't 
want her and suggested Dobrzyński ; says she is from Lithuania 
and he too, so they ought to get on. It's absurd. 



48. 

To the Same. 

[Warsaw] Saturday, probably 4 September 1830. 

Dearest Tycia! 

I tell you, Hypocrite, that I am more crazy than usual. I am 
still here; I have not the strength to decide on my date; I think 
I shall go away to forget my home for ever; I think I shall 
go away to die; and how dismal it must be to die anywhere 
else except where one has lived! How horrible it will be to see 
beside my death-bed some cold-blooded doctor or servant in- 
stead of my own family. Believe me, I am sometimes ready to 
go to Chodkiewicz's to find tranquillity with you; then, when 
I leave the house, I walk the streets, get melancholy, and come 
home again, what for? — Just to mope. I have not rehearsed the 
concerto yet; somehow or other I must leave all my treasures 
before Michaelmas and get to Vienna, condemned to perpetual 
sighing. What stuff! You, who know so much of human powers, 
explain to me why man supposes that today is only going to be 
tomorrow. Don't be silly, is the only answer that I can give 
to myself; if you know another one, send it to me. 

Orłowski is in Paris; Norblin has promised to obtain for 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

him by new year a post at the Variétés theatre. Le Sueur re- 
ceived him well and has promised to remember his musical 
education. That fellow can do well if he wants to. My plans for 
the winter are: 2 months in Vienna, and then to Italy, and per- 
haps to spend the winter in Milan. I shall have letters. Moriol- 
les's daughter came back from the waters two days ago. Ludwik 
Rembieliński is in Warsaw; I saw him at Lours's, where I got 
into a dispute with Ernemann about the Turk and Agniesz, 1 
the Italian and the Pole. Soliwa is still conducting those operas 
in which his girls have appeared ; you will see, he will gradually 
harness Kurpiński. Already he has one foot in the stirrup, and 
a certain bewhiskered cavalry man 2 will support him. He has 
Osiński also on his side. Palstet saw Rastawiecka a few days 
before her death; he says, she knew what her condition was. 
Pani Palstet wishes me to say that she is annoyed with you for 
not coming straight to Telatyn. That's her joke; the sort of old 
woman's joke that is peculiarly irritating to people who like 
to joke with only one person. 

Today we had the Alpine singers in the theatre: something on 
the lines of those Tyroleans who came two years ago ; no doubt 
you remember. Gresser told me they are worse, and the Warsaw 
Courier says they are better than those. I shan't go to them to- 
day; I'd rather go on Wednesday to hear them in the Resource 
in the Mniszek palace. There's to be a big evening there, and 
they are to sing in the garden. Win. Skarżyński tells me his side 
has lost in the lawsuit between the two legs of the Resource (i.e. 
between Zejdler Zakrzewski & Co. and Steinkeler [sic], Żela- 
zowski & Co.) ; but they are to appeal. They are called Honey 
because they live in the Miodowa 3 St. and the Steinkeler gang 
call themselves the Mniszkovs. 4 This explanation is in order to 
tell you that Honey has lost, but unjustly. Bucholtz is finishing 
his instrument à la Streicher, he plays well on it; it is better 
than his Viennese one, but far less good than the Vienna Viennese 
one. Today my letter ends with nothing, even less than noth- 
ing, just with what I've written; that is because it's 11:30 and 

1 Agnese. 

2 Probably a reference to General Rozwiecki. [Op.] 

3 Miód: honey. 

4 Inhabitants of the Mniszek palace, where the Resource hall was. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I'm not yet dressed and sit writing while Moriolka x waits for 
me; then to Celiński to dinner, then I promised to go to Mag- 
nuszewski, so there won't be time to come back before four and 
finish out this sheet, for whose emptiness I grieve and suffer, 
but can't help it. Anyhow I'm writing you something, and it 
seems to me that's good of me. I can't let myself go in this 
letter, for if I did Moriolka would not see me today, and I like 
to give pleasure to decent folk when I believe in their good- 
will. I have not been there since I came back, and I confess 
that sometimes I attribute the cause of my grief to her; and I 
think that is what people believe, and I am composed on the 
outside. Her father laughs, and perhaps would rather weep ; and 
I laugh too, but also on the outside. 

Let us go to Italy, dear; from today you will get no letter 
from me for a month, neither from Warsaw nor perhaps from 
elsewhere; so till we meet, you will have no news of me. Stuff 
and nonsense is all I can manage ; but to get away, — and you 
too. You'll keep me waiting for you. I shall receive letters: " I 
must just finish the mill, and start the distillery, and see to the 
wool, and the lambs, and then it will be next sowing time " ; 
and it will be neither mill, nor distillery, nor wool that will 
keep you, but — something else. A man can't always be happy; 
perhaps joy comes for only a few moments in life; so why tear 
oneself away from illusions that can't last long anyhow. Just as 
on the one hand, I regard the tie of comradeship as the holiest 
of things, so on the other hand, I maintain that it is an infernal 
invention, and that it would be better if human beings knew 
neither money, nor porridge, nor boots, nor hats, nor beefsteaks, 
nor pancakes, etc. — better than as it is. To my mind, the 
saddest part of it is that you too think the same way, and would 
perfer to know nothing of them. I am going to wash now; don't 
kiss me, I'm not washed yet. You? If I were smeared with the 
oils of Byzantium, you would not kiss me unless I forced you 
to it by magnetism. There's some kind of power in nature. 
Today you will dream of kissing me ! I have got to pay you out 
for the horrible dream you gave me last night. 

F. Chopin 

1 Mlle de Moriolles. 

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— for ever a lover of the personification of Hypocrisy. A 
propos: Write to me, and don't forget about Rinaldi; that's all. 
Mamma and Papa send you best greetings. The children came 
downstairs to remind me to send messages from them; and 
please tell them that I forgot. Żwyny always sends greetings. 
The Italian, Soliwa, asked me when you are coming to Warsaw, 
and sends best compliments. Pani Linde is in Gdańsk. I have 
not seen your sister in Warsaw. Pani Plater has come back. 



49. 

To the Same. 

Warsaw, 18 September 1830. 

My Dearest Life! 

Beastly hypocrite! Disgusting, loathsome Count Ory! Abé- 
lard, etc. 

I don't know why, but I feel happy, and Father and Mother 
are pleased about it. Pawłowski brought me the letter and 
book; you did well to send it back, for the Italian was worry- 
ing my life out if I met him in the street. Last Wednesday I 
rehearsed my Concerto with the quartet. I was pleased, but 
not altogether; people say the finale is the best part of it, be- 
cause the most comprehensible. Next week I will write you how 
it goes with the orchestra; we shall try it on Wednesday; to- 
morrow I want to go through it again with the quartet. When 
we have rehearsed it, I shall go; but where, when I don't want 
to go anywhere? All the same, I don't mean to stay in Warsaw; 
and if you suspect any love-affair, as many persons in Warsaw 
do, drop it, and believe that, where my ego is concerned, I can 
rise above all that, and if I were in love, I would manage to 
conceal the impotent and miserable passion for another few 
years. Think what you like; anyhow, a letter brought by the 
count, whom I met two days ago in the Cellar (and who promised 
to honour our threshold with his podgy person before leaving), 

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will explain things better. I don't want to travel with you. I'm 
not making it up; indeed as I love you, it would spoil that 
moment, worth a thousand monotonous days, when we embrace 
each other abroad for the first time. I could not now await you, 
receive you, talk to you, as I could do then, when joy will shut 
out all cold conventional phrases and let one heart talk to the 
other in some divine tongue. Divine tongue, — what an un- 
fortunate expression ; like divine navel, or liver ; — horridly 
material. But to come back to the moment when I meet you there. 
— Then, perhaps, I could let myself go; could tell you what I 
always dream of, what is everywhere before my eyes; what I 
constantly hear, what causes me more joy and more sorrow 
than all else on earth. But don't think that I'm in love ; — not 
I ; I have put off that till later. 

I have begun a Polonaise with the orchestra ; but so far it's just 
rudiments; it's only a beginning of a beginning. I have now 
changed the opinion of Kamieński that I held in the country. 
You will learn more about that from Pawłowski. Today I am 
writing anticipando, to set my mind at rest, as I shall not start 
before Michaelmas. That is quite positive. I can see you crum- 
pling up my letter and turning crimson with rage. Brother, it's 
not as we would, but as we can. Don't think it's my pocket that is 
delaying me. There's no very important reason, but by the grace 
of God there are as many little bothers as one needs to make the 
difference. It's unlikely that I can escape my deserts according 
to the Berlin newspaper; luckily the Vienna one has taken a 
different tone about my Variations. The reviewer says they 
are short, but so vigorous, so high, so deep, and so philosophic 
as well, that he can't describe them. He ends by saying that, 
apart from their surface elegance, these Variations have an 
inner quality which will last. This German has paid me a compli- 
ment for which I must thank him when we meet. But there is 
no exaggeration, and that is as I would have it, for he does 
grant me independence. To anyone but you I would not chatter 
about myself this way; but as you count for me and I should 
like to count for you, I sing my own praises the way dealers 
do with their wares. To be second fiddle to Orłowski is for me 
neither too much nor too little. Today his new ballet is to be 

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given, on Lesbenier's huge scale. A great fuss is expected. Yes- 
terday I was at Cichocki's — that fat man — for his name-day. 
I played Spohr's Quintetto for piano, clar., fag., valtorn [sic] 1 
and flute. Beautiful, but dreadfully unpianistic. Everything he 
tried to write to display the piano is insufferably difficult, and 
often you can't find your fingers. It was to have been played at 
7, and we began at 11. Aren't you surprised I didn't go to 
sleep? But there was such a pretty girl there; she reminded 
me of my ideal. Imagine, we stayed till 3. The Quintet was so 
late because the ballet rehearsal lasted till 11. That gives you 
a notion, what a huge ballet. Today they are kicking up their 
heels. 

Yesterday I wrote to Bartek, to London. Antoś Wodziński is 
back from Vienna. I am certainly going there, but can't specify 
the date. I was to have started this day week, by the Cracow 
diligence, but gave it up. I know you think me completely dis- 
suaded from it. But please believe me, as I love you, that I do 
think of my own good, and dedicate to it everything that I do 
for people. For people ! That is, for people to see, so that repute, 
which means so much here, may not be unfavourable to me ; it's 
only superficial, nothing inside. You see, people often call 
such things as a ragged coat or an old hat disaster. When I have 
nothing to eat, you'll have to take me in at Poturzyń as a 
clerk; I will live over the stable, just as this year in the court- 
yard, and be so comfortable with you. If only my health lasts, 
I hope to work all my life. Sometimes I wonder whether I 
really am lazy ; whether I ought to work more, when my physi- 
cal strength allows it. Joking apart, I have convinced myself 
that I really am not such a hopeless vagabond, and that when 
necessity compels me I can do twice as much work as I do 
now. You will admit that I can't arraign myself better before 
you than by acquitting myself. It's no use, I know that I love 
you and want you to love me always more and more, and that's 
why I scribble all this. Often trying to make oneself out better 
only makes one out worse. But I think that with you I don't 
need to appear either better or worse. The sympathy that I feel 
towards you forces your heart, in some supernatural way, to 

1 Waldhorn. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

feel the same sympathy. You are not the master of your 
thoughts ; but I am, and I won't be thrown over, any more than 
trees will give up the foliage that brings them life, and joy, 
and character. Even in winter it shall be green in my heart. My 
head is green, but heaven knows there's warmth in my heart, 
so don't be astonished at such vegetation. Enough! Just give 
me a kiss; for ever your „ P 

I've only just realized what a lot of nonsense I have scribbled 
to you; clearly my imagination dates from yesterday; I've had 
no sleep, so forgive my fatigue; I danced the Mazurka. Mamma 
and Papa embrace you warmly. The children too. Ludwika is 
not quite well, we hope she will soon be better. 

I met the President; he was glad of the count's arrival and 
wants to send you letters or parcels or something from Gdańsk 
by him. Walery is always Walery. His neighbour, Panna Kolu- 
bakin, has died. Wincenty is well, splendid. Kostui is probably 
in Dresden with the others. 

Sokołowska has arrived; still unwell. Your letters are still 
on my heart and on the ribbon — for though they don't know, 
they feel, these dead things, that they both came from familiar 
hands. 



50. 

To the Same. 

Warsaw, Wednesday morning, 22 September 1830. 

My dearest Life! 

I have an opportunity to explain to you why I am still 
here. My father did not wish me to travel, a few weeks ago, on 
account of the disturbances which are starting all over Ger- 
many. Not counting the Rhine provinces, the Saxons, who al- 
ready have another King, Brunswick, Cassel, Darmstadt, etc., 
we heard that in Vienna too some thousands of persons had 
begun to be sulky about the flour. What was wrong with the 
flour I don't know, but I know there was something. In the 

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Tyrol also there have been rows. The Italians do nothing but 
boil over; and at any moment, Moriolles told me, they expect 
some news of this kind. I have not yet tried for my passport, 
but people tell me that I can get one only to Austria and Prus- 
sia; no use to think of Italy and France. And I know that 
several persons have been refused passports altogether; but 
that would doubtless not happen to me. So I shall probably go 
within the next few weeks through Cracow to Vienna, for 
people there have now refreshed their memory of me and I 
must take advantage of that. Don't be surprised either at me 
or at my parents ; that is the whole romance. Yesterday Pawłow- 
ski came to me; he leaves very early tomorrow; so, as I am 
rehearsing the second Concerto today, with full orchestra, ex- 
cept trumpets and kettledrums, I invited him, to please you; 
he can tell you about it. I know that the tiniest details of this 
sort interest you. I am sorry you are not here, for I shall have 
to judge of the Concerto by Ernemann's opinion. Kurpiński will 
be there also, and Soliwa, and all the best of the musical world ; 
but, with the exception of Eisner, I have not much faith in these 
gentlemen. I wonder how the Italian will look at the Kapell- 
meister, and Czapek at Kessler, Filip at Dobrzyński, Molsdorf 
at Kaczyński, Le Doux at Sołtyk, and Pawłowski at all of you. 
There has been no instance of all these gentlemen ever having 
been seen together before. I am succeeding in accomplishing 
it, and I do it for the raritas. 

The latest diplomatic news is that M. Durand, the former 
French consul who protested against Filip 1 and wanted to 
enter the Russian service, has been recalled to France, and in 
his place there arrived yesterday a new tricolour consul, whose 
name even diplomatists do not yet know. There is also a new 
bass singer, Pan Bondasiewicz, who has already had the mis- 
fortune to make a fool of himself twice, in the Turk and in the 
Barber, in Szczurowski's place. Unless one counts a not too 
bad supson 2 of a voice, he has not one quality. He sings fairly 
well in tune, which seems the only reason why the Kapellmeister 
should have permitted him to appear in the first Polish theatre. 

1 Louis Philippe. 

2 soupçon. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

You must know that this Pan Bondasiewicz, whom our public 
has already converted into Brind-, Band- and Bombasiewicz, at 
one time delighted provincial audiences. He is so bad here 
that we have to slow down all the tempi because he can't keep 
up. Perhaps he can still train, he is not old. Szczurowski was 
ill, so this man replaced him. Luckily he has recovered and 
perhaps will appear on Sunday in the Magpie, when Panna 
Gładkowska will sing Anusia or somebody, under Kurpinski's 
direction. This will not prevent the Italian from getting the job 
of Kapellmeister in two or three years, for Kurpiński is trying 
for a post in Petersburg, as he confided to me secretly. After 
Panna Gladkowska's appearance in the Magpie, Panna Wołków 
will appear in the Barber, which I doubtless shall not see. Did 
you know Woycicki — , no you didn't, so I won't write about 
him. 

I have just finished the second Concerto and am still as 
hebes as before I first began to learn my notes. It's a pity I 
have started to write on such a day, when I can't put two thoughts 
together. When I begin to consider my own case, I am sorry for 
myself, that I am often quite absent-minded. If I have something 
before my eyes that interests me, horses could trample over 
me and I shouldn't see them; the day before yesterday that 
nearly happened to me in the street. On Sunday, being struck 
by an unexpected glance in church, I blundered out in a state 
of delightful torpor, and for a quarter of an hour didn't know 
what I was doing; meeting Dr. Parys, I didn't know how to ex- 
plain my confusion, and had to make up a tale of a dog run- 
ning under my feet and getting trodden on. I'm such a crazy 
person sometimes that it's dreadful. I should like to send you a 
few silly things of mine, but I shan't have time to copy them 
today. The Italian, Rinaldi, is pleased, and thanks you for 
sending him the books. He tells me that Bezobrazov is taking 
lessons from him, but learns nothing, only pays. I'll swear that's 
a first step to Panna Wołków. Orlowski's new ballet, so far as 
the music goes, is really very good, and has many fine bits. The 
machinery of it is enormous, and therefore it does not always 
come oif. The first time was the worst, the second better; the 
third I don't know, but the prince was there, so it must have 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

gone better. The last decoration is the best. They hop about 
too much. It's dreadfully long; ends at half-past 10. I apolo- 
gize for today's letter, but you can't have any other; today is 
my holiday. Also the university opens today, and I must fly, to 
make sure of Eisner, Bielaski, the desks, and the sordini which 
I forgot all about yesterday. Without them the Adagio would go 
to pieces, and I don't believe it can have much success, as it is. 
The Rondo is effective, the Allegro powerful. Oh, accursed self- 
love! But if I owe self-conceit to anyone, it is to you, Egoist; 
whom one frequents, such one is. 1 There's one thing in which I 
don't imitate you, that is, in taking sudden decisions; but I 
have a sincere desire to decide secretly, without a word, to leave 
here on Saturday week, without pardon, in spite of all laments, 
tears, reproaches and falling at my feet. My music in my 
bundle, the string on my knapsack, the knapsack on my shoul- 
der, and to the diligence. Tears will be showered like peas on 
every hand, the length and breadth, from Copernicus to Zdroje, 
from Brank [?] to King Zygmunt; and I, cold and dry as a 
stone, laughing at my poor children's tender farewells. I use 
too many auxiliary words ; but that's today, for indeed, if — 
if you were not so far, so far away, somewhere or other beyond 
Hrubiesz, I should tell you to come, and I know you would like, 
if only as a penance for your other enormous sins, to give 
comfort to other people, even if you detest them. If I could do 
anything to comfort you, I would do it; but believe me, there 
is no cure for all that, till Vienna. You live, you feel, you 
are lived and felt by others ; therefore you are unhappily happy. 
I understand you, I enter into your mood ; and — let us em- 
brace each other, for there's nothing more to say. 

F. Chopin 

My parents press your hand. Sisters and brothers embrace 
you. Kiss me again. This has not taken well; 2 I must put it in 
an envelope. Forgive my being such a pig, entre nous soit dit, 
— but indeed I ask pardon. Only don't be cross. Today I 
learned that there are new riots in Berlin. 



1 A proverb. 

2 Apparently the seal. [Op.] 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 



51. 

To the Same. 

[Warsaw] 5 October [1830]. 

My dearest Life! 

I needed your letter to calm me down ; you can't imagine how 
bored I am with this accursed but natural confusion. After the 
orchestral rehearsal of the second Concerto, it was decided to 
give it in public, and next Monday, i.e. the 11th of this month, 
I bring it out. On one hand I am sorry; on the other, I am 
curious to see the general effect. I think the Rondo will impress 
everyone. About that Rondo Soliwa said to me : " 77 vous fait 
beaucoup d'honneur." Kurpiński spoke of its originality, Eis- 
ner of its rhythm. But in order to arrange what you can call a 
good evening, I have to avoid those wretched clarinets or 
bassoons between the piano numbers; so Gładkowska will sing 
in the first part, and Wołków in the second. For the overture 
I shall give neither of the usual Leszkas and Lodoiskas, 1 but 
Wilhelm Tell. 2 Poor me, you don't know what I went through 
when the two ladies asked permission to sing. The Italian was 
quite willing to consent; but I had to go higher, to Mostowski 
himself; but, being quite indifferent, he graciously consented. 
What they will sing I don't yet know; all the Italian told me 
is that one air must have a chorus. There have been only 2 
performances of the Magpie. The first time, Gładkowska was a 
little nervous, and did not sing the first Cavatina so well a< he 
second time. It is admirable when she sings this: 




She does not take it off short, like Mayer, but sings: 



ims^^^m 



1 Lodoiska: opera by Cherubini. 1st performance 1791. 

2 Rossini. 1st performance 1829. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

so that it is not a quick gruppeto, but eight clearly sung notes. In 
the last act the prayer from Rossini's " Mahomet " 1 has been 
added, or rather inserted, after the funeral march, as better 
fitted for her voice, that in the " Magpie " being too high. 
That's enough about the opera. Wołków is now studying the 
" Barber," and then an Italian opera 2 (on tour), in which they 
are to sing a duet; that is why Soliwa did not wish them to sing 
one at my concert. I shall play on that instrument which Belle- 
ville formerly did not want to give me. At the latest I shall be 
out of Warsaw a week after the concert. My travelling trunk is 
bought, my whole outfit is ready; my scores are corrected, my 
pocket handkerchiefs are hemmed, my trousers are made. Only 
to say goodbye, and that's the worst. Your somebody will ex- 
perience that trouble. My parents and the children too; they 
are good chicks; nothing has so delighted them for a long 
time as your fraternal greeting, which I gave them from your 
letter. I must write shortly today, for I have to go to Ernemann 
this morning and for the chorus voices for Kratzer, if he will 
teach them for me; but I know he detests me. News: Old Górski, 
tiego, tiego, 3 has married Panna Pągowska; but none of the 
family knew anything about it. Imagine, his son was with him 
when he started for Bielany, to the wedding; and asked to be 
taken with him for the drive, having no idea that his father was 
getting into the carriage en qualité of a bridegroom. The father 
got rid of him by giving him a stall ticket for " Preziosa," and 
meanwhile went off hunting. The next morning, Władzio went 
to him with Wincenty Skarżyński with name-day wishes: they 
we.:' puzzled to find the father so embarrassed and looking at 
the window every moment; but as old Pągowski was in the 
room, and Górski was just starting in the carriage, the son sup- 
posed that it was Pągowski who was going to a hotel, and was 
not astonished when, on the way out, he met Panna Pągowska 
(now his stepmother) and her mother entering the room. So, 
after saying goodbye to his father, who took leave of him 
hastily and showing embarrassment, he went to Dziekoński, who 

1 Maometto II. 1st performance 1820. 

2 by Fioravanti. [Op.] 

3 Probably for tego (of that) ; he may have stuttered. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

had arrived in the night. On entering he greets the stepfather, 
who starts by complaining of want of sleep. — Why? — " But 
confound it, your father took away all the mattresses for the 
wedding." — " How do you mean? " — " Well, — haven't 
you just come from him?" — "But it's impossible, that he 
would not have told me." — " Ask the servant, who stayed with 
the carriage." The son went home very sad, to find that " tiego, 
tiego " had played such a dirty trick. Pani Dziekońska knows 
nothing about it. You know that Panna Pągowska ; you met her 
at the Pruszak's: small, not bad-looking; she used to be perse- 
cuted about young Górski, and probably the father got married 
for his son. Father Dekert (whom you know) married them. 
Hube is going to Italy. Nowakowski is in Białystok to sniff 
round at what is going on there; he has found a job there; I 
hope he won't come back. Nowakowski the actor has an engage- 
ment in Cracow. It's a pity. But Dmuszewski told me they 
can't keep him, because he demands fearful conditions. The 
first is that his wife should act, and she doesn't know how. I am 
going now to old Pruszak, even before Ern[emann] ; — I have 
important business with him, concerning only them. I can't tell 
you about it, but it's a peculiar matter, and not a milky one; 
rather a pursy one. I know he wilk-receive me kindly. Give 
me a kiss, dearest beloved; I know that you still care for me, 
but I'm always so afraid of you, — as if you were some sort 
of tyrant over me; I don't know why I'm afraid of you. God 
knows it's only you that have power over me, you and — no 
one else. Perhaps this is the last letter I shall write to you. 

Till death, Your 

F. Chopin 

Parents, children, Żywny — 

Skarżyński always asks me about you. A propos, les demoi- 
selles du Conservatoire sent you greetings a long while ago. 
Glad, and Wołków are to remain another year under Soliwa, — - 
and have confessed to me that they are bored. 

Tuesday, 5 October. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 



52. 

To the Same. 

[Warsaw] Tuesday, 12 October 1830. 

My dearest Life! 

Yesterday's concert was a success; I haste to let you know. I 
inform your Lordship that I was not a bit, not a bit nervous, and 
played the way I play when I'm alone, and it went well. Full 
hall. First Goerner's Symphony. Then my noble self's Allegro 
E minor, which I just reeled off ; one can do that on the Streycher 
piano. Furious applause. Soliwa was delighted; he conducted 
on account of his aria with chorus, sung beautifully by Panna 
Wołków, who was dressed like a cherub, in sky blue. After the 
aria came the Adagio and Rondo; then the pause between the 
1st and 2nd parts. When they returned from the buffet and left 
the stage, which they had mounted to produce an effect favour- 
able to me, the 2nd part began with the Overture to Wilhelm 
Tell. Soliwa conducted well and it made a great impression. 
Really, the Italian has shown me so much kindness this time 
that it is difficult to thank nim enough. He then conducted the 
air for Panna Gładkowska (dressed just right for her face, in 
white, with roses on her head ) — she sang the Cavatina from La 
Donna del Lago, 1 with the recitative, as she has sung nothing yet, 
except the aria in Agnes. You know: — " Oh quante lagrime per 
te versai." She took: " tutto detesto," down on the low B, in 
such a way that Zieliński said that B was worth a thousand 
ducats. You must know that the aria was transposed for her 
voice, which profited greatly by the change. After Panna Gład- 
kowska had been escorted from the stage we started the Potpourri 
on The Moon that Set, 2 etc. This time I was all right and the 
orchestra was all right, and the pit understood. This time the 
last mazurka elicited big applause, after which — the usual 
farce — I was called up. No one hissed, and I had to bow 4 

1 Opera ł>y Rossini, 1819. 

2 A well-known song: "The moon had set, the dogs were asleep," the tune of 
which Chopin used in his Fantasia on Polish Themes: Op. 13. [Op.] 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

times; but properly now, because Brandt has taught me how to 
do it. I don't know how things would have gone yesterday if 
Soliwa had not taken my scores home with him, read them and 
conducted so that I could not rush as if I would break my neck. 
But he managed so well to hold us all that, I assure you, I never 
succeeded in playing so comfortably with the orchestra. The 
piano, apparently, was much liked; Panna Wołków still more; 
she shows up well on the stage. She is now to appear in the Bar- 
ber; it is to be on Saturday if not on Thursday. I am thinking 
of nothing now but packing; either on Saturday or on Wednes- 
day I start, going by Cracow. Yesterday I learned that Win- 
centy may be going to Cracow, I must find out. Perhaps we 
could travel together, if he is not going too late. I saw Karol 
in Warsaw the other day, well and cheerful; and he earnestly 
wanted to know when you are to meet in Lublin. He hopes to find 
letters from you on his return home. As for Kostuś, his father 
told me that he has been at Buda for the coronation with Seweryn 
and Kinel, and therefore is not yet in Paris; but he intends to 
return there, and is probably now on the way. I must stop, my 
Life; Pan Lasocki is waiting for me to go to Ernemann with 
him for the purpose of engaging him to give his daughter les- 
sons. Afterwards porridge, now a kiss to you. 

Your most affectionate 

F. Chopin 

The children, Mamma, Papa, everyone, Żywny, all embrace you 
warmly. 



53. 

To his Family. 

Wroclaw [Breslau], Tuesday, 9 November 1830. 

My dearest Parents and Sisters! 

We arrived very comfortably and in the best weather, at 6 on 
Saturday evening, and put up Zur Goldenen Gans. 1 We at once 

1 The Golden Goose. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

went to the theatre, where they gave The King of the Alps, 1 which 
is to be put on at home. The pit admired the new decorations, but 
we found nothing to make a fuss about. The artists played fairly 
well., The day before yesterday they gave Auber's Miller and 
Locksmith, — badly. Today is Winter's Interrupted Sacrifice, 2 
I am curious to see how it goes. They have no very good singers; 
but the theatre is very cheap ; a stall seat costs 2 zls. I like Wroc- 
ław better this time. 

I delivered the letter to Sowiński; I have barely seen him 
once; he called on us yesterday, but we were out. We had gone 
to the local Resource, where Schnabel, the Kapellmeister, asked 
me to be present at rehearsal for this evening's concert. They 
give three such concerts a week. I found the orchestra, small, as 
usual, assembled for rehearsal, a piano and, as umpire, some 
amateur, named Hellwig, who is preparing to play the Moscheles 
E flat major concerto. Before he sat down to the instrument, 
Schnabel, who had not heard me for four years, asked me to 
try the piano. It was difficult to refuse, so I sat down and played 
a few variations. Schnabel was immoderately pleased, began 
begging me to play in the evening. Schnabel especially pressed 
me so earnestly that I could not refuse the old man. He is a 
great friend of Eisner; but I told him I am doing it only for him, 
as I have not played for some weeks. I have no desire to dis- 
tinguish myself in Wroclaw. To that the old man replied that 
he knows all that, and that, seeing me in the church yesterday, 
he wanted to ask me to play but did not dare to. I then went with 
his son to fetch the music, and played them the Romance and 
Rondo of the 2nd Concerto. At the rehearsal the Germans ad- 
mired my playing: — " Was fur ein leichtes Spiel hat er," 3 said 
they; but nothing about the compositions. Tytus even heard one 
say: " he can play, but not compose." Nota bene, at table a"hote 
the day before yesterday, some gentleman of very attractive ap- 
pearance was sitting opposite to us. On entering into conversa- 
tion, I found that he knows Schultz of Warsaw, and is a friend 
of the people to whom Schultz gave me a letter. He is a merchant 

1 Der Alpenkonig: opera by Rosek von Reiter, 1779-1830. 

2 Das unterbrochene Opferfest. 1st performance 1795. 
8 How light his playing is. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

named Scharff; very amiable; he took us all over Wroclaw; 
engaged a fiacre himself and showed us the prettiest drives. The 
next day he put our names down at the Bourse, got us Fremden- 
karten x for yesterday's concert and sent them to us before the 
rehearsal. How surprised must he and the gentlemen who ar- 
ranged about the tickets have been, when the Fremder 2 turned 
out the chief musical figure of the evening. Besides the Rondo I 
improvised, for connoisseurs, on themes from The Dumb Girl 
of Portici. Then they finished up with an Overture, and then 
dancing began. Schnabel wanted to give me supper, but I took 
only broth. 

Of course I have met the Oberorganist here, Herr Kohler; 
he promised to show me the organ today. I also met a certain 
baron, or the devil knows what, called Nesse or Neisse; a pupil 
of Spohr, who is said to be a fine violinist. Another local expert 
and musician, named Hesse, who has travelled all over Ger- 
many, also paid me compliments; but, except Schnabel, whom 
one could see to be genuinely delighted, and who kept taking me 
under the chin and caressing me every moment, none of the 
Germans knew what to do. Tytus enjoyed watching them. As I 
have no established reputation as yet, they admired and feared 
to admire; could not make out whether the compositions were 
good, or whether they only thought they were. One of the local 
connoisseurs came up to me and praised the novelty of the form ; 
saying that he had never before heard anything in that form. 
I don't know who he was, but he was perhaps the one who under- 
stood me best. Schnabel is full of the utmost amiabilities, even 
offered a carriage; but we left after 9, when they began to 
dance. 

I am glad to have given pleasure to the old man. 

Some lady to whom the director introduced me after the con- 
cert, calling her the best local pianist, thanked me profusely for 
the delightful surprise, and regretted that I am not to be heard 
in public. The umpire consoled himself by singing Figaro's air 
from the Barber, but — wretchedly. 

Yesterday they talked a lot about Eisner, and praised some 



1 Guest tickets. 

2 Guest. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Variations of his for orchestra, with an Echo; I said, that if they 
could hear his Coronation Mass, they would be able to judge 
what a composer he is. The Germans here are awful, at least 
yesterday's company; our Herr Scharff is an exception. 

Tomorrow at 2 we leave for Dresden. Kisses! Kisses! Kisses! 

Kindest greetings to Żywny, Elsner, Matuszyński, Kolberg, 
Marylski, and Witwicki. 



54. 

To the Same. 

Dresden, 14 November 1830. 

I can scarcely find a moment for a few words to give you news 
of me. I am just back from a Polish dinner: that is, where only 
Poles were present. I left them there and came back to write; 
the post goes at 7, and I should like to hear The Dumb Girl of 
Portici again today. 

We didn't like leaving Wroclaw; a closer acquaintance with 
the people to whom Scholz gave me letters made the town very 
pleasant for us. My first call here was on Frâulein Pechwell. 
She played on Friday at the local Resource, and got me ad- 
mitted. The same evening the Dumb Girl was played in the thea- 
tre; it was hard to choose, but I really had to attend the lady's 
evening, so I went there. Another important reason for going was 
that I was told I should hear there the best local woman singer : 
an Italian by birth, called Plazzesi. So I put on my best clothes 
and sent for a sedan-chair; got into this queer box and asked 
to be taken to Kreissig's house, where the evening was to be held. 
I laughed at myself on the way, being carried by these bearers 
in livery; I was greatly tempted to stamp out the bottom, but 
restrained myself. This vehicle took me right up the steps. I got 
out and sent in my name to Frâulein Pechwell; the master of the 
house came out with bows and scrapes and many compliments, 
and conducted me into the hall, where I found, at the two sides, 
eight enormous tables, at which sat a crowd of ladies. Their 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

adornments, consisting less of diamonds than of wires, 1 flashed 
in my eyes. Joking apart, the number of ladies and wires was 
so great that one could have feared some revolt against men, 
which only baldness and spectacles could combat; there was a 
great deal of glass, and a good deal of bare skin. 

The rattling of these wires, and also of tea-cups, was suddenly 
interrupted by music from the other end of the room. First they 
played the Overture from Fra Diavolo, 2 then the Italian lady 
sang; not bad. I got into conversation with her, and also met her 
accompanist Sig. Rastrelli, the sub-director of the opera here, 
and Sig. Rubini, the brother of the famous singer whom I hope 
to meet in Milan. This polite Italian promised me a letter to his 
brother; it's all I need. He was kind enough to take me yester- 
day to the rehearsal of the " Vespers " composed by Morlacchi, 
the court Kapellmeister here. I took the opportunity to recall my- 
self to his memory ; he at once put me to sit beside him and talked 
a lot with me. 

The Vespers were sung today by the famous Neapolitan male 
sopranos Sassaroli and Tarquinio; Rolla, a well-known concert- 
master here, to whom I had a card from Soliwa, played the violin 
obligato [sic]. I made acquaintance with him, and he promised 
me a letter to his father, the director of the Milan opera. But let 
us return to the evening. 

Frâulein Pechwell played the piano, and I, after talking with 
one and another, went off to the Dumb Girl. I can't judge of it 
because I didn't hear it all. Only after this evening shall I be 
able to tell you anything positive. 

Going to Klengel in the morning, I met him outside the house ; 
he recognized me at once, and was so friendly that he even 
pressed me to his heart. I respect him greatly. He invited me to 
come to him tomorrow morning, but asked first where I am 
staying. He tried to persuade me to appear in public, but about 
that I am deaf. I have no time to lose, and Dresden will give me 
neither fame nor money. 

General Kniaziewicz, whom I saw at Pani Pruszak's, also 
spoke of a concert, but declared that it would not lead to much. 

1 knitting-needles. 

2 Comic opera by Auber. 1st performance 1829. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Yesterday I was at the Italian opera, but it was badly done; 
but for Rolli's solo and the singing of Frâulein Hahnel from the 
Vienna theatre, who made her début yesterday as Tancredi, 1 
there would have been nothing to hear. The King, surrounded by 
the whole court, was in the theatre, and also in church at the 
high Mass today. They sang a Mass by Baron Miltitz, one of the 
local nobles, under the direction of Morlacchi. I liked the voices 
of Sassaroli, Muschetti, Balwig and Zezi best. The composition 
itself is nothing much. Dotzauer and Kummer, famous local 
violoncellists, had several soli, which they played well; other- 
wise nothing special. Except my Klengel, before whom I shall 
doubtless have to distinguish myself tomorrow, there is nothing 
here worth noticing. I like to talk with him, because one can 
really learn something from him. 

Except the picture galleries, I have not looked again at any- 
thing in Dresden ; it is enough to see grilne Gewôlbe 2 once. 



55. 

To the Same. 

Prague, 21 November 1830. 

The week in Dresden went so fast that I could not keep track 
of it. I would start out in the morning and not get back till night. 
Klengel, when I got to know him better, that is, when I played 
him my concerto, said that it reminded him of Field's playing, 
that I have a rare touch, that though he had heard much about 
me, he had never expected to find me such a virtuoso. It was not 
idle compliment; he told me that he hates to flatter anyone or 
force himself to praise them. So, the moment I had left — and I 
sat with him the whole morning, till 12 — he went to Morlacchi 
and to Luttichau, the general director of the theatre, to find out 
whether I could be persuaded to be heard during the four more 

1 Tancredi: opera by Rossini, on a play by Voltaire. 1st performance 1813. 
This opera was afterwards very popular in Paris. 

2 The room in Dresden Castle where the crown jewels were kept. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

days that I am to remain in this town. He told me afterwards that 
he did this for Dresden, not for me, and that he would like to 
compel me to give a concert, if getting it up would not demand 
too much time. The next morning he came to me, and informed 
me that till Sunday — and this was on Wednesday — there was 
not one free evening; on Friday was to be the first performance 
of Fra Diavolo, and on Saturday, that is: yesterday, Rossini's 
La Donna del Lago in Italian. I received Klengel as I would 
receive few persons in my life ; definitely, I love him as if I had 
known him for thirty years. He also shows much sympathy with 
me. He asked for the scores of my concertos, and took me to Pani 
Wiesołowska for the evening. On the same day there was a re- 
ception at Pani Szczerbinin's, but I stayed so long at the 
Niesołowskis' that all the guests had gone when Klengel took 
me to Pani Szczerbinin. But I had to dine there the next day. 
I was caught everywhere, like a dog. I went the same day to Pani 
Dobrzycka, who invited me for her birthday, the next day. There 
I met the Saxon princesses, the daughters of the former king: 
that is, the sister and the brother's wife of the reigning monarch. 
I played in their presence ; they promised me letters to Italy, but 
I have not got all yet; one sent me two letters to my hotel just 
before I left; the rest I expect to receive in Vienna, through Pani 
Dobrzycka, who knows where to find me there. The letters are 
addressed to the queen of the two Sicilies, in Naples, and to a 
princess Ulasino, of the Saxon royal house, in Rome. I am also 
promised letters to the reigning princess of Lucca and to the 
wife of the viceroy of Milan. The letters are to be forwarded by 
Kraszewski, to whom I am writing specially about it today. In 
Dresden I also dined at the Komars'. Klengel gave me a letter 
to Vienna, where I shall also go later; he drank my health in 
champagne at Pani Niesolowska's; she also made much of me, 
didn't know where to put me to sit, and insisted on calling me 
Chopski. 

Rolla is the first violin; the rest from Vienna, where we arrive 
at 9 on Tuesday morning. 

General Kniaziewicz took a great fancy to me; he told me 
that no pianist had ever made so pleasant an impression on him. 



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56. 

To Jan Matuszyński in Warsaw. 
Vienna, 22 November [1830]. 

Dear Jasio! 

Let me know your house number. You know what is happen- 
ing to me, how glad I am that I am in Vienna, that I am making 
so many interesting and useful acquaintances, that I may be 
going to fall in love. I don't think about any of you. Only I 
sometimes look at the hair ring that Ludwika made, which I 
love the more, the farther away from them I go. I love you too, 
more now than in Warsaw. But do you all love me? Esculapius, 
if you have not written to me, may the devil carry you off, may 
a thunderbolt strike you in Radom, may it tear the button 
off your cap! I left a message in Prague that all letters should 
be sent on to Vienna, and so far, there is nothing. Did the rain 
upset you? I have a presentiment that you are ill. For 
heaven's sake don't take risks; you know how many times I 
have come to grief. My clay will not melt with the rain 
this time; the inside of it is at 90 degrees Reaumur. Per- 
haps, — ah no, it won't happen, only a little house for a kit- 
ten can be made from my clay! Ah, you scoundrel! You have 
been to the theatre! You have used your opera glass, you have 
ogled others ! You have darted your eyes at shoulder knots — 
[?] If it's so, may the lightning strike you, you are not worthy 
of my affection. Tytus knows, and is glad; he always respected 
[her] and expected it; if I write to you, I do it for myself, for 
you are not worth it. Frâulein Heinefetter was lovely yesterday 
in Othello, 1 and sang beautifully. Later I will write you every- 
thing, but I want your number. Give me a kiss, embrace Father 
Alfons for me, I have written to Marcel. Kisses to all my col- 
leagues, kisses. 

F. Chopin 

1 Opera by Rossini. 1st performance 1816. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

This pen is like a ladle; and besides, it is tumbling from my 
hand. Don't be surprised at this scrawl. I would write more, but 
I am afraid to ; I can't collect my thoughts. 

[Overleaf.] You are requested to keep off the grass. You are 
ordered not to be inquisitive old women. Herewith I send a 
packet of kisses — a baker's dozen — to my honoured col- 
leagues. 

And to My Court Physician Jan Matuszyński, 1 the order of 
St. John of the 1st class with pies, in his palace, when I come 
to you. 

By the courier: Ludwika, Izabella or Zuzia. 



57. 

To his Family. 

Vienna, 1 December 1830. 

My small heart giggled for joy at your letter, the first that 
has come in the four weeks since I parted from you. It made me 
eat a better dinner, and the Wild Man — that's the name of the 
excellent inn where I eat — has charged me for a large appetite 
for strudeln, 2 a whole bottle of Rhenish and several Kreutzers. 
The joy was general, because Tytus also had letters from home. 
Thank Celiński for the enclosed note; it took me back to your 
arms. I imagined I was sitting at the pianoforte; Celiński stand- 
ing opposite and looking at Żywny taking snuff with Linowski. 
Only Matuszyński was missing; I think he must still be feverish 
— But enough of romancing; my turn for holidays will come 
one day, there are plenty of pretty German girls ; — but when 
will it come, when! — 

Just imagine, Frâulein Blahetka is in Stuttgart with her par- 
ents; perhaps they will return for the winter. I heard the news 
from Haslinger, who received me most amiably, but has not yet 
printed either the Sonata or the second Variations, for all that. 

1 Matuszyński was a medical student. 

2 pancakes. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

He'll get some pepper 1 the moment Tytus and I are settled in 
our lodging. We have engaged one in the principal street, the 
Kohlmarkt; three rooms, on the third floor, it's true, but delight- 
ful, splendid, elegantly furnished, by the month, for a small 
rent. My share is 25 florins. Some chief admiral, an English- 
man, is still occupying them, but he moves out today or tomor- 
row. An admiral ! And I shall be Admiration, so the rooms won't 
lose anything; [Footnote:] Don't read this letter to everyone; 
people might think I had got my head turned. [Letter con- 
tinues:] especially as the landlady, or rather owner of this 
lodging, is a baroness, a widow, pretty, fairly young; who told 
us that she has lived long in Poland, and had heard of me in 
Warsaw. She knows the Skarzynski's, has been in high society ; 
asked Tytus whether he knows the young and pretty Pani Rem- 
bielińska, etc. So, if there were nothing more, such a respectable 
lady is worth 25 florins, especially as she likes Poles, does not 
care for Austrians, is herself Prussian and a very sensible 
woman. 

As soon as we move in, Graff, the piano-manufacturer, will 
send us an instrument. Wiirfel began to talk about giving a con- 
cert the moment he saw me. He is very unwell, and does not go 
out, only gives lessons at home; he has had lung haemorrhage, 
which has weakened him badly. But he continues to bombard me 
about a concert, saying that the local papers have written a lot 
about my F minor concerto ; as to which I do not know and have 
had no curiosity to find out. 

I will give a concert; but when, where, what, I don't know. 

My swollen nose has not allowed me to present myself as yet 
at the embassy, or to call on Pani Rzewuska, to whom everybody 
goes. She lives near to Hussarzewski, to whom I have already 
boldly gone several times, in spite of my nose. He, like Wiirfel, 
advises me not to play for nothing. Malfatti received me most 
amiably, most heartily, as if I were his cousin. As soon as he 
read my name, he embraced me, and said he would do all he 
could to serve me ; had already written about that to Władysław 
Ostrowski. He added that he will mention me to Pani Tatyszczew, 2 

1 get a wigging. 

2 This is the Russian name Tatishchev, in Polish spelling. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

will give me all necessary introductions, and will even try at 
court; though he doubts whether anything will come of that, as 
the court is now in mourning for the king of Naples. He also 
promised to introduce me to Baron Dunoi, the chief of the local 
music Verein; that should be an excellent acquaintance. 

Another one which may also be useful is with Herr Mittag; 
through Klengel's letter. This is a man who sees things the right 
way, and I think will be the most helpful to me of all the mu- 
sicians. Czerny, on whom I have already called (humbly as 
always and with everybody), asked me what I " hat fleissig stu- 
diert." x He has again arranged some overture for 8 pianos and 
16 players, and is quite pleased. Otherwise I have not yet seen 
a single pianist here. 

I have been twice to Frau Weyberheim, Frau Wolf's sister, 
and am invited there for tomorrow evening; — " un petit cercle 
des amateurs." 2 From there I go to call on Rozalja Rzew- 
ska, who receives between 9 and 10, and who has been noti- 
fied of my arrival by Hussarzewski. There I am to meet that 
famous Signora Cibini, for whom Moscheles wrote the 4-hand 
Sonata. 

The day before yesterday I went to Stametz, to the Comptoir. 
They received me, with my letters, just as they would receive 
everyone who comes for money; gave me a card to the police, 
so that I could get my residence permit, and — that is all. But 
perhaps it will be different later. I also went that day to Herr 
Geymiiller, with whom Tytus placed his six thousand. Herr 
Geymiiller, after looking at my name, remarked, without read- 
ing the rest, that he was : " very glad to meet such a Kûnstler 3 
as I, but cannot advise me to get myself heard, for there are so 
many good pianists here that one needs a great reputation to 
gain anything." He ended by adding that he " cannot do any- 
thing for me, as times are difficult," etc. I had to gape at him, 
and swallow all that. When he finished his tirade, not before, 
I told him that I really do not know whether it is worth my 
while to be heard, as I have not yet called on any of the nota- 
bilities here, even on the ambassador, to whom I have an intro- 

1 had studied industriously. 

2 A little group of amateurs. 

3 artist. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

duction from Warsaw from the Grand Duke, 1 etc. That made 
him open his eyes; and I then took my leave, with apologies 

for interrupting his business. Wait a bit, you h [hycel: 

dog-hanger] 2 Jews! 

I have not yet been to Lachner, the conductor of the orchestra, 
for I don't know where I can receive callers. From the Stadt 
London, where everything was too salt, we moved to the Lamm 
in the Leopoldstadt, and here we are camping for the moment, 
till the thin, sickly, whiskered and greenish-yellow-and-mauve 
English sailor moves from the baroness's house. In that " lodging 
in the grand style " — the phrase belongs to Tytus, who insists 
on regarding me as a conceited person — it will be time to play 
and to think about concerts; but not unpaid concerts. Well, we 
shall see. 

I have not been either to Pani Rarzak, or to Pani Elkan, or to 
Rothschild, or to the Voigts, or to lots of other people. Today I 
go to the embassy; there is one baron Meindorf, whom Hus- 
sarzewski told me to ask how best to get to Tatyszczew. I have 
not yet touched the money which I got two days ago at the bank. 
I hope I shall treat it with respect. All the same, I should be glad 
if I could have a little at the end of this month, for the journey 
to Italy, if my concerts do not bring in anything. 

The theatre costs me more than anything; but I don't regret 
it, because Frâulein Heinefetter and Herr Wild nearly always 
sing. During this week I have heard three entirely new operas. 
Yesterday they gave Fra Diavolo; the Dumb Girl is better; be- 
fore that was Mozart's Titus, 3 and today Wilhelm Tell. I don't 
envy Orłowski, who accompanies Lafont; perhaps there may 
come a time when Lafont will accompany me. Is that rather too 
bold? Well, really, it may come. Nidecki thinks of staying here 
all the winter. All this week has been taken up with my nose, 
the theatre and Graff, to whom I go every day after dinner, to 
play, and exercise my stiff fingers a little after the journey. 
Yesterday I introduced Nidecki to Graff. 

1 Constantine of Russia. 

2 Hycel: a flayer of hides and destroyer of stray dogs and cats; a trade 
formerly practised in Poland by a very poor class of Ghetto Jews. The word is 
also employed as a general term of abuse. 

3 La Clemenza di Tito. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I really don't know how this week has gone; we have not 
looked round, nor have I yet taken any definite steps towards a 
concert. Questia? Which Concerto shall I play: F or E? Wiirfel 
declares the one in F is better than the A flat Hummel, which 
Hasslinger has just brought out. Haslinger is shrewd; he wants 
to put me off", courteously but lightly, so that I may give him 
my compositions for nothing. Klengel is surprised that he did 
not pay me for the Variations. Perhaps he thinks that if he ap- 
pears to have slight regard for my things I shall take it seriously, 
and give them to him for nothing? " For nothing " is finished ; 
now bezahl, 1 beast! 

Graff advises me to appear in the Landstdndischen Saal, where 
the Spiritual Concerts are held; that is: in the best and finest 
place. For that I shall need permission from Dietrichstein, but 
that will not be difficult to get, through Malfatti. 
People say I have grown fat — 

All is well with me. I trust in God and in Malfatti — 
the magnificent Malfatti — that it will be still better. 



58. 

To the Same. 

Vienna, Wednesday before Christmas. 

I have no calendar, so I don't know the date. 

Yesterday it was seven weeks since I left you. Why? — Well, 
it has happened. Just yesterday! On Tuesday, at the same hour 
when I went off to Wola, I was at a dance at the Weiberrheims. 
The place was full of young, good-looking people, not at all old- 
fashioned. They wanted me to dance, insisted on choosing me 
for the cotillon; I did a few turns, and then went home. The 
hostess and her tactful daughters had asked a lot of musical 
personages for that evening; but I did not play, as I did not feel 
in the mood. She introduced Herr Likt, whom Ludwika knows; 
a kind courteous, honest German ; he regarded me as something 

1 pay. 

126 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

great, so I did not want to disconcert him with my playing. I also 
met there the son-in-law of Lampi, whom Papa knows ; a charm- 
ing and handsome boy, who paints beautifully. A propos of 
painting: yesterday morning Hummel came to me with his son; 
he is finishing my portrait; it's so like that it couldn't be better. 
I am sitting on a stool, in a dressing-gown, with an inspired ex- 
pression of I don't know what. Pencil, or rather chalk, looks like 
an engraving; size for a folder. Old Hummel is kindness itself. 
As he is friendly with Duport, formerly a famous dancer and 
now the entrepreneur of the Kârthnerthor theatre, he introduced 
me to him yesterday. M. Duport is said to be niggardly; he re- 
ceived me most graciously, perhaps in the hope that I will play 
for him for nothing; but he is mistaken. We exchanged casual 
avant propos — would I call to play ; but when, what or how, 
not a word. If he offers too little, I shall give my concert in the 
big redoubt hall. 

Wurfel is better; last week, at his house, I met Slawik, a fine 
violinist, though still quite young; 26 at the most. I liked him 
very much. As we walked back together, he asked me: — was I 
going straight home? — Yes, I answered. — " Then better come 
with me to your countrywoman, Pani Bayer." As it happened, 
Kraszewski had sent me a letter to her from Dresden, together 
with the one to the wife of the viceroy of Milan. I could not use 
the letter at once, as I had not the address, and there are thou- 
sands of Bayers in Vienna. — " All right," I told Slawik, — 
" only I will fetch the letter first." It was the same lady. Her 
husband is a Pole from Odessa, a neighbour of Chomentowski. 
The wife, who apparently had heard a lot about me, invited 
us to dinner the next day; that was Sunday, and Slawik played; 
I liked him, after Paganini, better than anyone. He also took a 
fancy to my noble self, and we agreed to write a piano and violin 
duet together: an idea which had occurred to me in Warsaw. 
He is a great violinist, of real genius. As soon as I meet Merk ł 
we can undertake a trio, and I may meet him any day at 
Mechetti's. Yesterday Czerny and I went together to Diabelli, 
who has invited me to an evening party for musicians alone, next 
Monday. On Sunday an evening at Likt's where all the great 

1 A famous Austrian cellist (1795-1852). 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

musical world will be, and an overture for eight hands; and on 
Saturday there is to be some old church music at the house of 
Hof rath Kiesewetter, author of a work on music. 

You must know that I am now on the fourth floor. Some Eng- 
lish people, hearing from my predecessor of my delightful lodg- 
ing, wanted to have one of the rooms ; but, coming ostensibly to 
look at one, they examined all three, and like them so much that 
they at once offered me 80 florins a month to give them up, to my 
unmeasured delight. Baroness Lachmanowicz, Pani Uszak's sis- 
ter-in-law and now my kind young landlady, had on the fourth 
floor a similar lodging; she showed it to me, I accepted, and 
am now housed for 10 florins a month, as if I were paying 70. 
You doubtless think: the poor fellow is in an attic! Not at all; 
there is the fifth floor above me, and only then the roof; and 
60 florins in your pocket are in your pocket. People call on me, 
and Pan Hussarzewski has to climb all those stairs. But the street 
is priceless: in the middle of the town, close to everything. A 
beautiful walk below, Artaria on my left, Mechetti and Has- 
linger on my right, the theatre behind me; what more can I 
want? . . . 

Malfatti has scolded me, because, having promised to dine 
at Pani Schaschek's at 2, I came at 4; I am to go there again, 
with him, to dinner on Saturday. If I am late, Malfatti threatens 
to perform a very painful operation on me; I won't write what, 
for it's ugly. I see that Papa is annoyed at my rattlepatedness 
and unbecoming behaviour to people ; but it will all come right, 
for Malfatti likes me, I am glad to say. 

Nidecki comes to me every morning to play. When I write a 
2-piano concerto, we will play it in public together ; first, though, 
I must appear solo. Haslinger continues to be polite, but quiet. 

I don't know whether to go to Italy now, or what. Please write 
to me about it. Mamma is glad I have gone away, but I am not 
glad. It has happened — Embrace Tytus for me, and ask him 
to write, for the love of God. — No, you can't conceive how 
joyful I am when I get a letter from you. Why is the post so 
slow! Well, you won't be angry with me for worrying about 
you. — 

I have met here a very nice boy called Leibenfrost, a friend 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

of Kessler; he often comes to me, though I have only once called 
on him. When I am not asked to dinner anywhere, I eat in town 
with him. He knows all Vienna, and whenever there is anything 
special to see, he takes me there at once. Yesterday, for instance, 
was a beautiful excursion to Bastei, archdukes in their aristo- 
cratic frock-coats — in a word, all Vienna. I met Slawik there, 
and arranged to meet today and choose a Beethoven theme for 
variations. In one way I am glad to be here, but in the other! — 

How nice it is in this room. A roof opposite me, and pigmies 
down below. I am higher than they! The best moment is when, 
having finished playing on Graff's dull piano, I go to bed with 
your letters in my hand. Then, even in sleep, I see only you. 

Yesterday at the Bayer's we danced the mazurka. Slawik lay 
on the floor, to represent a sheep, and some old German Contessa 
with a big nose and a pockmarked face, did some kind of queer 
waltz step with long thin legs, holding her skirts gracefully with 
two fingertips in the ancient manner, and keeping her head 
turned stiffly towards her partner, so that her neck bones stuck 
out here and there. But she is a fine person, serious, cultured; 
talks fluently and has the usage du monde. 

Among the numerous pleasures of Vienna the hotel evenings 
are famous. During supper Strauss or Lanner play waltzes ; they 
are the local Swieszewscy. After every waltz they get huge ap- 
plause ; and if they play a Quodlibet, or jumble of opera, song 
and dance, the hearers are so overjoyed that they don't know 
what to do with themselves. It shows the corrupt taste of the 
Viennese public. 

I wanted to send you a waltz that I have composed, but it is 
late now; you shall have it afterwards. I don't send the mazurkas 
because they are not copied yet ; they are not for dancing. 

I don't want to say goodbye to you, I should like to keep on 
writing. If you see Fontana, tell him I am going to write to him. 
Matuszyński will get a huge letter, if not today, then by the 
next post. 



129 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
59. 

To Jan Matuszyński in Warsaw. 

Vienna. Christmas Day, Sunday morning. Last year at this 
hour I was with the Bernadines. Today I am sitting alone, in a 
dressing-gown, gnawing my ring and writing. 
[26 December 1830.] 

Dearest Jasio! 

I am just back from Slawik's — a famous violinst with whom 
I have made friends — Since Paganini I have heard nothing like 
him; he can take 96 notes staccato on one bow, and so on; in- 
credible; there I started getting homesick for the piano, and 
came back with the notion of weeping out the Adagio of the 
variations on a Beethoven theme, which we are writing together. 
But one step to the post office, which I never pass without going 
in, gave a fresh turn to my feelings. The tears, that should have 
fallen on the keys, bedewed your paper; I was starving for a 
letter. 

My letters are nothing to you, for you are at home ; but I read 
and re-read your letter without end. Freyer has been to see me 
several times — though I have not once managed to get to him ; 
he heard from Schuch that I am in Vienna. He is living with 
Rostkowski; I think that is the name of the young man sent by 
the government; the one that had a lawsuit with Koliński. He 
told me a lot of interesting details of the latest news, and enjoyed 
your letter, part of which I gave him to read. The other part has 
grieved me deeply. Is there really even a little change? Did she x 
not fall ill? I could easily believe some such thing about so 
sensitive a creature. Don't you think so? Is it perhaps the terror 
of the 29th? 2 May God forbid its being because of me! Calm 
her, say that, so long as my strength lasts — that till death — 
that even after death my ashes will strew themselves under her 
feet. But that's all nothing, whatever you can say — I will 
write. I would have written long ago, would not have fretted 

1 "She" appears to be Konstancja Gładkowska, the singer, with whom he was 
in love. 

2 The insurrection of 1830 broke out on November 29th. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

over it so long; but people! — If by any chance it should fall 
into strange hands, it might injure her reputation; so it is better 
you should be my interpreter; speak for me, "et j'en convien- 
drai." Your phrases in French just finished me; a German who 
was walking with me in the street while I was reading your 
letter could scarcely hold me up by the arm, and could not make 
out what had happened to me. I wanted to seize hold of all the 
passers-by and kiss them; I felt as I have never felt before, be- 
cause it was the first letter from you! I bore you, Jasio, with my 
stupid passion; but it's difficult to wake up and write casual 
things to you. Yesterday I dined with a Polish lady called Beyer, 
whose Christian name is Constance. I love to go there for the 
reminiscence ; all the music, the pocket handkerchiefs and table- 
napkins have her name on them. I go there with Slawik, for 
whom she has a weakness. The day before yesterday we played 
the whole morning and afternoon, then, as it was Christmas Eve 
and fine clear springlike weather, we left there at night. After 
parting from Slawik, who was due at the imperial chapel, I 
strolled along slowly alone, and at midnight went into St. 
Stephen's. When I entered there was no one there. Not to hear 
the mass, but just to look at the huge building at that hour, I got 
into the darkest corner at the foot of a Gothic pillar. I can't 
describe the greatness, the magnificence of those huge arches. 
It was quiet; now and then the footsteps of a sacristan lighting 
candles at the back of the sanctuary, would break in on my 
lethargy. A coffin behind me, a coffin under me ; — only the 
coffin above me was lacking. A mournful harmony all around — 
I never felt my loneliness so clearly; I loved to drink in this 
great sight, till people and lights began to appear. Then, turning 
up the collar of my cloak, as once — do you remember? — 
along the Cracow Suburb, 1 I went to hear the music at the im- 
perial chapel. On the way, I passed through the finest streets of 
Vienna, not alone now, but in the company of a cheerful crowd, 
and reached the Castle, where I heard three numbers of a not 
very good mass, sleepily sung, and then, at 1 in the night, went 
home to bed. I dreamed of you, of all of you, of them, of my 
dear children. Next morning I was waked by an invitation to 

1 A street in Warsaw. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

dinner from Pani Elkan, a Polish lady, wife of a banker. I got 
up, practised mournfully; then came Nidecki, Leidenfrost, 
Steinkeller; parting from them, I went to dinner at Malfatti's. 
Szaniasio [?], a Pole, who has since been killed, ate more 
zrazy * and cabbage, I swear, than any Carmelite. I was not far 
behind ; you must know that this rare man — in the full sense of 
the word a man — Dr. Malfatti, is so considerate of everyone 
that, if we come to dine with him, he searches out Polish food for 
us. After dinner came Wild : a famous — perhaps today the most 
famous — German tenor. I accompanied him from memory in 
the air from Othello, which he sang like a master. He and Heine- 
fetter support the entire opera here; it is true, it is a miserable 
one, quite unworthy of Vienna. Frâulein Heinefetter is almost 
completely lacking in feeling; a voice, such as I do not often 
hear, everything sung well, every note accurately performed; 
purity, flexibility, portamenta ; — but so cold that I almost got 
my nose frostbitten while sitting in the front row near the stage. 
Off the stage she is pretty, especially in masculine dress. In 
Othello she is better than in the Barber, in which, instead of a 
lively, innocent young girl in love, she has to represent a thor- 
oughly practised flirt. In Mozart's Titus, as Sextus, she is charm- 
ing; in The Crusader 2 also. She will soon appear in the Magpie; 
I am curious to see. Wołków understood the Barber better; if 
only she had Heinefetter's throat. Certainly she is one of our 
first women singers, if not the first. I was to have gone to hear 
Pasta ; you know I have letters from the Saxon court to the Milan 
viceroy's wife. But how am I to go? /My parents tell me to please 
myself, and I don't want to go. To Paris? Here they advise me to 
wait. Return home? Stay here? — Kill myself? — Not write to 
you? Give me some advice, what to do. Ask the persons who 
dominate me, and write me their opinion, and so it shall be. I 
shall stay here next month. So write, before you leave for the 
East and the North; but I hope you will not need to go. So write 
before you start, poste-restante, Vienna ; and before you start, go 

to my parents, to Cons While you are there, fill my place 

with them. Visit them often, let my sisters see you, let them think 

1 A favourite Polish dish. 

2 Meyerbeer: II Crociato in Egitto. 1st performance 1824. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

you are coming to me, and I in the next room ; sit by them, and 
let them think I sit behind you. Go to the theatre, and I will come 
there. I read the papers diligently; I have been promised the 
Polish dailies. — I'm not thinking of my concert. — There's a 
certain Alois Schmidt, a pianist from Frankfort, known for very 
good Études, a man of over 40; I met him here, and he promised 
to call. He thinks of giving a concert; one must give him preced- 
ence. He seems to me to know his work, and I hope we shall 
understand each other in music. As for Thalberg, he plays ex- 
cellently, but he's not my man. Younger than I, pleases the 
ladies, makes potpourris from the Dumb Girl, gets his piano by 
the pedal, not the hand, takes tenths as easily as I octaves, — 
has diamond shirt-studs, — does not admire Moscheles; so 
don't be surprised that only the tutti of my concerto pleased him. 
He also writes a concerto. 

I am finishing your letter 3 days late. I have read over the 
trash I have written to you; forgive me, Jasio, if you have to 
pay on it. Today, at dinner in the Italian restaurant I heard: — 
"Der Hebe Gott hat einen Fehler gemacht, dass er die Polen 
geschaffen hat " ; 1 so don't wonder if I can't express what I feel. 
Don't expect to hear any news from a Pole, after hearing another 
man answer : — " In Polen ist Nichts zu holen." 2 The curs ! 
Meanwhile they are really pleased, though they don't want to 
show it. A certain French sausage dealer has come here. For a 
whole month there have been crowds in front of his elegant 
shop ; there's always some new reason for staring in at the 
Frenchman's. Some think it's a result of the French revolution, 
and gaze compassionately at the sausage skins laid out on table- 
cloths; others are angry that a French rebel should be allowed 
to open a ham shop, when they have pigs enough in their own 
country. Wherever you go, they talk about the Frenchman ; and 
one is afraid to start anything that does not begin with the 
Frenchman — I'll stop, Jasio, because I have to stop. I kiss 
you. I suppose I shall leave off loving you when I leave off 
loving life, and my parents, and her. My dear boy, write to me. 
You can even show this letter if you think well, for I have no 

1 The good God made a mistake when he created the Poles. 

2 There's nothing to be got out of Poland. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

time to read it over, I have to go to an evening at Malf atti's today, 
and before that to the post. I will write to you again as soon as I 
have a moment. My parents may know that I have written to 
you ; tell them, but don't show the letter. 

I still can't tear myself away from my dear Jasio! Go, you 
Wretch! If Watson loves you as much as I do, she is probably 
glad of the revolution. Have they not hanged her mother? But 
Old Whiskers — you know whiskers — the sniveller; it's a pity 
that detestable musical papa is not tolling the bell. 1 Would it 
not be fine, for instance in the finale to the Magpie, such tutelary 

bell-ringing. Const I can't even write the name, my hand 

is not worthy. Oh, I could tear my hair out, when I think they 
may forget me. All these Gressers! Bezobrazov! Pisarzewski! 
That's enough; I'm like Othello today. 

I was going to fold this letter and seal it without an envelope ; 
I had forgotten that with you people can read Polish. As I now 
have some paper to spare, let me describe to you my life here. 
I am on the 4th floor ; it's true it's in the best street, but I should 
have to look well out of the window to see what is going on there. 
My room — you'll see it in my new Stammbuch 2 when I return 
to you; young Hummel is making a drawing of it — is big and 
comfortable, with three windows ; the bed opposite the windows ; 
a splendid pantaleon on the right side, a sofa on the left; mir- 
rors between the windows; in the middle a fine, big, round ma- 
hogany table; a polished parquet floor. It's quiet; after dinner 
His Lordship does not receive; so I can concentrate my thoughts 
on all of you. In the morning I am called by an insufferably 
stupid servant ; I get up, they bring me coffee ; I play, and mostly 
have a cold breakfast; about 9 comes the maître for the German 
language; after that I usually play; then Hummel has been 
drawing me, and Nidecki learning my Concerto. All this in a 
dressing-gown till 12. After that comes a very worthy German, 
Leidenfrost, a German who works at the prison; and if the 
weather is fine, we go for a walk on the glacis round the town, 
after which I go to dinner, if I am invited anywhere. If not, we 
go together to the place frequented by the entire academic youth; 



1 I do not know to what this refers. 

2 album. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

that is: Zur Boemische Kôchin. After dinner black coffee is 
drunk in the best Kaffeehaus; that is the custom here, even 
Szanasio goes. Then I pay visits, return home at dusk, curl my 
hair, change my shoes, and go out for the evening; about 10, 11 
or sometimes 12, — never later, — I come back, play, weep, 
read, look, laugh, go to bed, put the light out, and always dream 
about some of you. 

Your letter was to have gone on Wednesday, but it was too 
late, so it goes on Saturday. Embrace Eisner. 

I began to write clearly, and am finishing so that perhaps you 
won't be able to read it. Embrace Magnus, Alfons, Reinszmitek. 
If possible, get one of them to add a line to your letter. 

My portrait, of which only you and I know, is tiny; if you 
think it would give you the smallest pleasure, I will send it to 
you by Schuch, who will perhaps leave with Freyer about the 
15th of next month, circumstances permitting. 

In Vienna there is a lot of talk about Klopiki, 1 — they were 
sorry for Potoki, 1 and certain Wolikis 1 talked with the duke. I 
can't help laughing; what these people do with our names passes 
all belief. 

Don't pass on the note unless it is really necessary. I don't 
know what I have written. You can read, the 1st and perhaps 
the last. 

Ch. 



60. 

To the Same. 

[Vienna, 1 January 1831.~\ 

I have received yours of December 22nd. My Best Friend in 
the world, you have what you wanted. I don't know what I am 
doing. I love you more than my life. Write to me. You in the 
army! Is she in Radom? Have you dug trenches? Our poor 
parents. What are my friends doing? I live with you all. I would 
die for you, for all of you. Why am I so alone? Is it only you 
who can be together at so fearful a moment? Your flute will 

1 Nonsense words suggested by German mispronunciation of Polish names. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

have something to wail about; but the pantaleon must wail first. 
You say you are starting. How can you give it up? Don't send; 
be careful. My parents ! Perhaps they would think evil — But 
indeed it's genuine. Give me a kiss. Perhaps I shall go to Paris 
in a month, if it's quiet there. Love me always, as now. Freyer 
is attached to you; he grieves, not to be with you. I'm going to 
dine at Malfatti's. Tomorrow I go to Steinkeller's. It is not 
amusements that are lacking, but the desire for them; and I 
have not gone in for them in Vienna as yet. Today is New 
Year, — how sadly I begin it! Perhaps I shall not end it. Em- 
brace me. You are going to the war. Come back a colonel. Good 
luck to you all. Why can't I even beat the drum! 

Ch. 



61. 

To Joseph Elsner in Warsaw. 
Vienna, 26 January 1831. 

I am ashamed that your kindness, of which I had so many 
proofs at parting, should again have anticipated my duty; it 
was for me to write to you directly I arrived in Vienna. But I 
put it off, being convinced that my parents would not fail to 
communicate to you the unimportant news about myself; and 
also because I was waiting till I had something definite to tell 
you. But from the day when I learned of the events of Novem- 
ber the 29th, until this moment, there has been nothing except 
distressing anxiety and grief; and it is useless for Malfatti to 
try to persuade me that every artist is a cosmopolitan. Even if 
that were so, as an artist I am still in the cradle, but as a Pole I 
have begun my third decade. I hope, therefore, that, knowing 
me, you will not blame me that my older feelings predominate, 
and that I have not yet begun to think of arranging my concert. 
Also, in every respect the difficulties in my way are far greater 
now. It is not only that a continuous series of bad pianoforte 
concerts has spoiled that kind of music by disgusting the public; 
but, apart from that, what has happened in Warsaw has altered 

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my situation, perhaps as much to my disadvantage as in Paris 
it might have benefited me. 

Nevertheless I have some hope that somehow it will be man- 
aged; and during the carnival will give my first concerto, Wiir- 
fel's favourite. The good Wiirf el is still unwell ; I often see him, 
and he always loves to speak of you. But for the interesting 
acquaintance with the first talents here; Slawik, Merk, Bok- 
let [?] etc., I should profit little by being here. Certainly the 
opera is good: Wild and Heinefetter delight the local public; 
it is a pity, though, that Duport puts on few new things, and 
cares more for his pocket than for the opera. Abbé Stadler re- 
grets this ; he says it is no longer the old Vienna. He is publish- 
ing his Psalms with Mechetti : a work which I have seen in manu- 
script and admired. About your Quartet: Joseph Czerny has 
solemnly promised me that it shall be ready by St. Joseph's day. 
He says he could not deal with it before, because he has been 
issuing Schubert's works, many of which are still waiting for the 
press. This will probably delay the issue of your second manu- 
script. So far as I have yet been able to observe, Czerny is not one 
of the rich publishers here, and therefore cannot boldly spend 
money on works which cannot be played at Sperl's or Zum Ro- 
mischen Kaiser. Here, waltzes are called works! And Strauss 
and Lanner, who play them for dancing, are called Kapellmeis- 
tern. This does not mean that everyone thinks like that; indeed, 
nearly everyone laughs about it; but only waltzes get printed. I 
think Mechetti is more entreprenant and it will be easy to nego- 
tiate with him about your masses, because he wishes to bring out 
important scores of church music. His bookkeeper is a courteous 
and enlightened Saxon; I spoke to him of your fine masses, and 
he was not at all averse; and he manages everything in the busi- 
ness. Today I dine with Mechetti ; I will have a serious talk, and 
write to you at once. Hasslinger is now bringing out Hummel's 
last mass. He lives only on Hummel; all the same, the last things, 
for which he had to pay him highly, are not selling well. That is 
why he is holding back all manuscripts and printing only 
Strauss. As every barrel-organ can play Strauss today, perhaps 
in a few months they will be playing Nidecki ; though in another 
sense. Yesterday I went with him to Steinkeller, who has given 

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him an opera to write. He counts a lot on it. Schuster, the famous 
comedian, will appear in it and Nidecki may make a name for 
himself. I hope this will be good news to you. He has received 
the order from the committee, but not the money. As for what 
you write to me about my 2nd Concerto, which Nidecki has 
studied; it was by his own wish. Knowing that before leaving 
Vienna he ought to be heard in public, he was to give a concert ; 
and having nothing of his own, except some pretty variations, 
asked for my manuscript; all that is not precluded, and he will 
appear not as a virtuoso but as a composer. He will doubtless 
tell you about it himself. I want to have his overture played at 
my concert. You will be able to be pleased with us; unless we 
should disgrace you; like Aloys Schmidt, a pianist from Frank- 
fort, who has just come down on his nose here, though he is a 
man of over 40, and composes as if he were 80. 

My dutiful respects to the whole household ; please accept the 
assurance of the reverence with which I remain for ever 
Your grateful and affectionate pupil 

F. F. Chopin 

Greetings to friends and colleagues. 



62. 

To Jan Matuszyński in Warsaw. 
[Vienna, Spring 1831 Ą 

Dearest Being! 

You have what you desired. Did you receive the letter? Did 
you pass it on? Today I regret what I did. I threw out a gleam of 
hope, where I see only darkness and despair. Perhaps she will 
sneer, perhaps she will make a jest of it! Perhaps! — Such 
thoughts come at the very moment when your old colleagues: 
Rostkowski, Schuch, Freyer, Kijewski, Hube, etc., are filling 
my room with gaiety, and I am laughing; I laugh, and in my 
heart, as I write this, some horrible presentiment torments me. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I keep thinking that it's a dream or hallucination, that I am 
with all of you, and all this is a dream; the voices I hear, to 
which my soul is not accustomed, make no other impression on 
me than the rattling of carriages in the street or any other casual 
noise. Your voice or that of Tytus would rouse me from this dead 
state of indifference. To live or to die seems all one to me today; 
I have no letter from you. Tell my parents I am cheerful and 
lack nothing; that I'm enjoying myself grandly and am never 
alone. You can tell her the same if she sneers. If not, then tell 
her that she need have no fear, I am bored everywhere. I am not 
well; don't write that to my parents. Everyone asks what is the 
matter with me. I'm out of temper. Hube looks after my health. 
I have a cold. Anyhow, you know what is wrong with me. 

Wild is a capital singer, not Polkowski. I know him inti- 
mately. Slavik is splendid; we often play together; tomorrow 
we go to a dinner together. Merk has now promised me a visit 
with his violoncello. I can't send you any song. Embrace the col- 
leagues. Kiss Magnus, Alfons [Brandt], Reinszmitek, Domuś, 
Wilus. I will write to Marcel. Write to me, Jasio! When shall 
we have a chat! I love you; love me, you. I write as if I were 
tipsy. 

Address: to Jasio. 

On trust, so I don't even seal it. Children! To all friends, your 
sister and your father. 



63. 
To his Family. 
Vienna, 14 May 1831. 

My dearest Parents and Sisters! 

This week I have to observe a strict diet in letters. I tell my- 
self that I shall get them later, and wait patiently, in the hope 
that you are all well, both in the country and in town. As for 
me, I am well, which I feel to be a great comfort in trouble. But 
for my unexpected good health, I don't know what I should do. 
Perhaps Malfatti's soups have poured some kind of Balsam into 

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my veins, which destroys all tendency to illness? If so, I am 
sorry that our periodic feasts ended last Saturday: Malfatti 
has gone to the country with his children. 

You can't think what a lovely place he is in; this day week 
I was there with Hummel. Taking us round his property, he dis- 
played its beauties by degrees; and when we reached the top of 
the hill, we didn't want to come down. The Court honours him 
with a visit every year, and the nearest neighbour is the princess 
of Anhalt, who doubtless envies him his garden. On one side 
you see Vienna under your feet, looking as if it joined Schôn- 
brunn; on the other side, tall hills, and the villages and monas- 
teries scattered about on them, make one forget the pomp and 
tumult of the noisy city. 

Yesterday I went to the imperial library with Kandler. You 
must know that I have long wished to acquaint myself with what 
is perhaps the richest collection of old musical manuscripts; 
but I never got round to it. I don't know whether the Bologna 
library is kept in better and more systematic order; but con- 
ceive of my astonishment when, among the manuscripts, I see 
a book in a case, with the name: Chopin. Rather thick, and in 
a good binding. I think: I never heard of any other Chopin. 
There was a Champin; so I supposed it might be his name 
misspelt, or some such thing. I take it up, look; my hand. 
Haslinger has presented the manuscript of my Variations to the 
library. — " Geese," I say to myself; — " you have found some- 
thing to keep ! " 

Last Sunday there were to be big fireworks, but it fell through 
on account of rain. It's a queer thing: when there are to be 
fireworks the weather is nearly always bad. In this connection 
I will give you an anecdote: A certain gentleman had a fine tan 
coat; but every time he put it on, it rained. Though he seldom 
wore it, he scarcely ever came home with it dry. So he goes 
to the tailor and asks him: why? The tailor puzzles over it, 
shakes his head; then asks to leave the coat a few days to be 
experimented on ; he is not yet sure whether the trouble may not 
sometimes be caused by the hat, the boots or the shirt. Not a bit: 
the tailor puts on the coat, goes out; it rains cats and dogs; the 
poor fellow had to go home in a cab, having forgotten his urn- 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

brella. A more plausible version, according to many persons, is 
that the tailor's wife had gone to drink coffee with a cousin or 
friend, and had taken the umbrella. However it happened, the 
tailor got wet, the coat was damp; there was nothing for it but 
to wait till it got dry again. After waiting some time, it occurs 
to the tailor to rip up the coat; there might be an imp inside it 
that draws the clouds. A grand thought! He rips the sleeves: 
— nothing. He rips the skirts: — nothing. He rips the breast: 
inside the lining is a fragment of an announcement of fireworks! 
All is cleared up; he removes the announcement and the coat 
gets wet no more! 

Forgive my not being able to write you anything cheerful 
about myself; perhaps later I shall have good news for you. 
All I want is to carry out your wishes; I have not succeeded in 
that yet. 1 



64. 

To the Same. 

Vienna, 28 May 1831. 

I am just back from the post, but nothing has come. On 
Wednesday I had a letter from Pani Jarocka, with a postscript 
from the dear Papa, who, niggardly as he is, had scribbled a 
few precious lines. Anyhow, I see from them that the household 
is well. As for Marcel and Jasio, I exhort them to write to me ; 
they are such villains that I can't get half a dozen words out of 
them! I am so furious that if they did write, I'd send their 
letters back unopened. They will make excuses about not having 
time; and how it flies! It's the end of May, and here I am still 
in Vienna; June will begin, and I shall still be here, for poor 
Kumelski has had a relapse, and is in bed again. 

I see this looks like being a dull letter; but don't think that 
means any indisposition; I am quite well, and enjoying myself 
finely. Today I got up early, and practised till two; then I went 
out to dine, and met the good Kandler, who, as you know, has 

1 Karasowski suggests that this may refer to the postponed concert. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

promised me letters to Cherubini and Paër. After seeing the 
patient, I am going to the theatre, where there is to be a concert, 
Herz : that little Jew violinist who nearly got hissed at Sonntag's 
concert in Warsaw; and Dohler, pianist, playing one of Czerny's 
compositions. At the end, Herz is to play his own Variations on 
Polish tunes. Poor Polish tunes! You don't know with what 
majufasy x you are to be interlarded, to entice the public by 
calling that Polish music. After that, try to defend Polish music, 
express any opinion about it, and you'll be taken for crazy; all 
the more as Czerny, Vienna's oracle in the manufacture of 
musical taste, has never yet used a Polish melody for variations. 

After dinner yesterday I went with Thalberg to the Evan- 
gelical church, where Hesse, a young organist from Wrocław, 
distinguished himself before a picked Viennese audience: The 
tip-top folk were there: beginning with Stadler, Kiesewetter, 
Mosel, Seyfried, Gyrowetz, etc., and ending with the verger. 
The boy has talent; he understands the organ. Hesse left with 
me a leaf from his album; but I don't know what to put in it; 
nothing comes into my head. 

On Wednesday Slavik and I stopped at the Bayers' till 2 in 
the night. Slavik is one of the few local artists whom I enjoy 
and with whom I get on. He played like another Paganini, but 
a rejuvenated Paganini, sometimes surpassing the first one. I 
would not have believed it if I had not heard him often; I am 
only sorry, oh, so sorry, that Tytus did not meet him. He strikes 
his hearers dumb, he makes people weep; more, he makes 
tigers weep, for prince G. and Iskr. went away moved. 

What is happening to you all?! — I dream of you, I dream! 
Will there be any end to the bloodshed? I know what you will 
say to me: — " Patience! " I comfort myself with that. 

On Thursday Fuchs gave an evening when Limmer, one of 
the best artists here, distinguished himself with his compositions 
for 4 cellos. Merk, as usual, makes them sound better than they 
really are. We stayed till 12, because Merk had a fancy to play 
his own Variations with me. Merk 2 tells me he likes playing 
with me, and I like playing with him, so together we must pro- 

1 Jewish ceremonial songs; sung at the Sabbath meal among the pious Jews. 

2 Chopin's Op. 3: Introduction et Polonaise brilliant pour piano et violoncelle 
is dedicated to Merk. [Op.3 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 



duce something good. He is the first cellist whom I can admire 
on closer acquaintance; I don't know how I shall like Norblin; 
only don't forget about the letter to him. 



65. 

To the Same. 

Vienna, 25 June 1831. 

I am well, and that's the only comfort, for there's no luck 
with my journey. I never had such a time. You know how un- 
decided I always am, and here are obstacles at every step. They 
promise my passport every day, and every day I drag from 
Anasz to Kaifasz to get the one I left with the police. Today I 
learn that they have mislaid my passport somewhere; and not 
only will they not search for it, but they demand that I should 
petition for a new one. Odd things happen to everybody nowa- 
days; I'm ready to start, and I can't go. I have followed Bayer's 
advice and asked for a passport to England, but I am going to 
Paris. Malfatti will give me a letter to his good friend Paër. 
Kandler has already written about me to the Leipzig musical 
paper. 

Yesterday I got home at midnight; it was St. John's day, 
therefore Malfatti's name-day. Mechetti arranged a surprise for 
him; Wild, Cicimara, Fraulein Emmering, Frâulein Lutzer and 
my noble self performed some important music. I never heard 
the quartet from Moses better sung; but "Oh quante lagrime" 
was sung incomparably better by Panna Gładkowska at my 
farewell concert in Warsaw. Wild was in good voice; I acted 
as conductor. [Footnote by Chopin: Cicimara said that no one 
in Vienna accompanies so well as I; and I thought: " I know 
that as well as you." Hush!] 

A huge crowd of strangers listened to the music from the 
terrace. 

The moon shone superbly, the fountains played, a delicious 
smell from the orangery they have put up filled the air; in a 

143 



chopin's letters 

word, a glorious night and a most gorgeous place. You can't 
imagine how beautifully designed is the salon in which they 
sang; huge windows, thrown wide, from which you can see all 
Vienna ; plenty of mirrors and very few lights. The extra length 
of the adjoining oblong vestibule on the left gave an enormous 
spaciousness to the whole room. The genuine amiability of our 
host, the elegance and comfort, the merry company, the witty 
conversation that was the order of the day, and the excellent 
supper kept us sitting late; it was about midnight when we got 
into the carriages and dispersed for home. 

As regards expenses, I manage; I preserve every Kreutzer as 
carefully as that ring in Warsaw. 1 Unfortunately, I have al- 
ready been enough expense to you. 

Two days ago I went to the Leopoldsberg and Kahlenberg 
with Kumelski and with Czapski, who is my daily guest and 
gives me the greatest proofs of friendship; even to the extent 
of offering me money for my journey if I should need it. It was 
a lovely day. I never had a more beautiful excursion. From 
the Leopoldsberg you can see all Vienna, Wagram, Aspern, 
Presburg, the Neuburg convent, the Castle where Richard Lion 
Heart was a prisoner, and all the upper reaches of the Danube. 
After lunch we went to the Kahlenberg, where king Sobieski 
had his camp ; I send a leaf from it for Izabella. There's a church 
there formerly a Camaldolese monastery, in which he himself 
said mass, and dubbed his son James a knight, before attacking 
the Turks. In the evening we went from there to Krapfenwald, 
a charming little valley, where we saw queer popular customs. 
The boys dress up in leaves from head to foot, and in that guise 
of walking and dancing bushes, go round from one guest to an- 
other. One such little rascal, entirely covered with leaves and 
with branches on his head, is called " Pfingstkônig." 2 This is 
supposed to be the Whitsuntide ceremony. Odd absurdity ! A few 
days ago I spent the evening at Fuchs's; he showed me his col- 
lection of 400 autographs, among which is my Rondo for 2 
pianos, bound. A few persons had come there to meet me. Fuchs 
gave me a sheet of Beethoven's writing. Your last letter cheered 

1 A ring given him by Tzar Alexander I in 1825 for his performance on the 
Eolomelodeon. [OpO 

2 Whitsuntide King: Jack-in-the-Green. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 



me very much; it was all my dearest ones on one scrap of paper. 
So in return I kiss your feet and hands, — such hands as all 
Vienna cannot show. 



66. 

To the Same. 

Vienna, 1831, July, Saturday. 

I see from your letter that you have shaken off your troubles ; 
believe me that I also am no longer in fear of any sort of 
thing happening to me. Hope, beloved hope! 

At last I have my passport. But I can't get off on Monday; 
only on Wednesday we start for Salzburg, and from there to 
Munich. You must know that I asked to have the passport vise 
for London. The police gave the visa, but the Russian embassy 
kept the passport two days, and then gave it back with permis- 
sion to travel, not to London, but to Munich. Never mind, thought 
I; only let M. Maison, the French ambassador, sign it. 

Besides these bothers, we have had still another; starting for 
Bavaria, I must have a Gesundheitspass 1 on account of cholera ; 
otherwise one can't cross the Bavarian frontier. Kumelski and I 
have been running about over that for half the day; it is to be 
finished after dinner. I'm glad that at least we had good com- 
pany on those imposing stairs, if one can judge by a Polish 
appearance and passport and a cultivated speech. Alexander 
Fredo 2 himself was trying, at the same time as we, to get the 
same pass for his servants. 

People here are terribly frightened of cholera ; you can't help 
laughing. They are selling printed prayers against cholera, they 
won't eat fruit; most of them are fleeing from the town. I am 
leaving the violoncello Polonaise with Mechetti. Ludwika writes 
that Eisner was pleased with the review; I don't know what he 
will say to the second one, for it was he who taught me composi- 
tion. I lack nothing except more life and spirit; I'm tired, but 

1 certificate of health. 

2 His comedies were very successful in Warsaw at that time. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

sometimes as cheerful as at home. When I get a melancholy 
mood, I go to Pani Szaszek; there I usually find several nice 
Polish women, whose sincere and really hopeful talk always 
gives me so good an opinion of myself that I begin to imitate 
the Viennese generals. It's a sort of new polichinelle, 1 just in- 
vented by me ; you have never seen it, but everybody that looks 
at it bursts out laughing. Then again there are days when you 
can't get two words out of me, and no understanding why. Then 
I go for 30 Kreutzers to Hietzing, or some other place just out- 
side Vienna, to get a change. 

Zacharkiewicz from Warsaw has called on me ; his wife saw 
me at the Szaszeks', and could not get over my having grown 
into so fine a man. I have let my moustache grow on the right 
side, and it's — quite long. (There's no need for it on the left 
side, because it's the right that faces the public.) 

The day before yesterday the kind Wiirflisko 2 came to me; 
also Czapek, Kumelski and many others; and we went to St. 
Veit. It's a pretty place; but I can't say the same about the so- 
called Tivoli, where there is a sort of carrousel, or sliding on 
vehicles; what they call here a " Rutsch." 3 It's an idiotic thing. 
However, crowds of people slide down in these things, for no 
object; I didn't even want to look at them. But afterwards, as 
there were eight of us (and all good friends), we began racing 
down to try who could go fastest, helping ourselves with our 
feet, competing with each other; and from being heartily dis- 
gusted with this silly Viennese game, I became an enthusiastic 
proselyte; till I recovered my senses, and realized that these 
things are occupying strong and healthy bodies and muddling 
capable minds; and this at a moment when humanity is calling 
on such to defend it. The devil take them! 

Rossini's Siege of Corinth 4 has been given in the theatre ; 
very good. I am glad I stayed over for this opera. Wild, Heine- 
fetter, Binder, Forti; in a word, all the best that Vienna has 
took part, and beautifully. I went once to hear it with Czapek; 
then on to supper at the place where Beethoven always used to 

1 Chopin was very fond of amateur theatricals. 

2 dim. of Wurfel. 

3 Toboggan. 

4 1st performance 1826. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

drink. Oh, before I forget; I shall probably need to take a little 
more money from Peter's bank than Papa intended; I am as 
careful as possible, but really I can't help it; I should have too 
light a purse for the journey. Afterwards, God forbid, if I fell 
ill or anything, you might reproach me for not taking more with 
me. Forgive me; you see, I have been here through May, June 
and July on this money, and I pay for more dinners than in 
winter. I don't do this on my own initiative, but rather on a 
warning from others. I hate to be obliged to ask you for it 
now. Papa has already spent so many pennies for me; I know 
how hard he has to struggle for the pennies, and nowadays even 
struggling doesn't help; but, hope! I mind asking more than 
you mind giving; but it's easier for me to take than for you 
to give. Well, God will be merciful — punktum! 

In October it will be a year since I got a passport; probably 
I shall have to prolong it; how does one do that? Write, if 
you can, and how to send the new one. Perhaps it can't be 
done! — 

Often in the street I run after someone who looks like Jasio 
or Tytus. Yesterday I would have sworn a man's back belonged 
to Tytus; and it was some confounded Prussian. Don't let all 
these epithets give you a bad impression of my Viennese educa- 
tion; it's true that they have neither such polite manners nor 
well-chosen turns of speech; except " Gehorsamer Diener" x 
at the end ; but I don't pick up anything that is essentially Vien- 
nese. I don't even know how to dance a waltz properly; that's 
a sufficient instance ! My piano has heard only mazury — 

God give you health! If only none of our friends die! I'm sorry 
about Gucio. Your letters sting, and leave a great stamp of 
health; I am so frightened, just panicky. 

Your most affectionate 

Fryderyk 

1 your obedient servant. 



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chopin's letters 

67. 

From his notebook. 
[Vienna, Spring 1831.] 

Today it was beautiful on the Prater. Crowds of people with 
whom I have nothing to do. I admired the foliage; the spring 
smell and that innocence of nature brought back my childhood's 
feeling. A storm was threatening, so I went in, but there was no 
storm. Only I got melancholy; — why? I don't care for even 
music today; it's late, but I'm not sleepy; I don't know what is 
wrong with me. And I've started my third decade! — The papers 
and posters have announced my concert, it's to be in two days' 
time, and it's as if there were no such thing; it doesn't seem to 
concern me. I don't listen to the compliments; they seem to me 
stupider and stupider. I wish I were dead ; and yet I should like 
to see my parents. Her image stands before my eyes: I think 
I don't love her any more, and yet I can't get her out of my 
head. 1 Everything I have seen abroad till now seems to me old 
and hateful, and just makes me sigh for home, for those blessed 
moments that I didn't know how to value. What used to seem 
great today seems common; what I used to think common is now 
incomparable, too great, too high. The people here are not my 
people; they're kind, but kind from habit; they do everything 
too respectably, flatly, moderately. I don't want even to think 
of moderation. 

I'm puzzled, I'm melancholy, I don't know what to do with 
myself; I wish I weren't alone! — 



68. 

From his notebook; written in Stuttgart after Sep. 8th, 183 1. 2 

The suburbs are destroyed, burned. — Jaś, Wiluś probably 
dead in the trenches. I see Marcel a prisoner! That good fellow 

1 Konstancja Gładko wska. 

2 See Preface. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Sowiński in the hands of those brutes! Paszkiewicz! — Some dog 
from Mohilov holds the seat of the first monarchs of Europe. 
Moscow rules the world! Oh God, do You exist? You're there, 
and You don't avenge it — How many more Russian crimes do 
You want — or — or are You a Russian too ! ! ? — My poor 
Father! The dear old man may be starving, my mother not able 
to buy bread? Perhaps my sisters have succumbed to the feroc- 
ity of Muscovite soldiery let loose! Oh Father, what a comfort 
for your old age! Mother! Poor suffering Mother, have you 
borne a daughter to see a Russian violate her very bones! — 
Mockery! Has even her grave ł been respected? Trampled, thou- 
sands of other corpses are over the grave — What has happened 
to her? 2 — Where is she? — Poor girl, perhaps in some Rus- 
sian's hands — a Russian strangling her, killing, murdering! 
Ah, my Life, I'm here alone; come to me, I'll wipe away your 
tears, I'll heal the wounds of the present, remind you of the 
past — the days when there were no Russians, the days when 
the only Russians were a few who were very anxious to please 
you, and you were laughing at them because I was there — 
Have you your mother? — Such a cruel mother, and mine is so 
kind — But perhaps I have no mother, perhaps some Russian 
has killed her, murdered — My sisters, raving, resist — father 
in despair, nothing he can do — and I here, useless! And I here 
with empty hands! — Sometimes I can only groan, and suffer, 
and pour out my despair at the piano ! — God, shake the earth, 
let it swallow up the men of this age, let the heaviest chastise- 
ment fall on France, that would not come to help us — 

— The bed I go to — perhaps corpses have lain on it, lain 
long — yet today that does not sicken me. Is a corpse any worse 
than I? A corpse knows nothing of father, of mother, or sisters, 
of Tytus; a corpse has no beloved, it's tongue can hold no con- 
verse with those who surround it — a corpse is as colourless as 
I, as cold, as I am cold to everything now — 

The clocks in the towers of Stuttgart strike the hours of the 
night. How many new corpses is this minute making in the world? 
Mothers losing children, children losing mothers — So much 

1 His sister Emilja's. 

2 Evidently a reference to Gładkowska. 

149 

4 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

grief over the dead, and so much delight! A vile corpse and a 
decent one — virtues and vice are all one, they are sisters when 
they are corpses. Evidently, then, death is the best act of man 

— And what is the worst? Birth; it is direct opposition to the 
best thing. I am right to be angry that I came into the world — 
What use is my existence to anyone? I am not fit for human be- 
ings, for I have neither snout nor calves to my legs; and does 
a corpse have them? A corpse also has no calves, so it lacks noth- 
ing of a mathematical fraternity with death — Did she love me, 
or was she only pretending? That's a knotty point to get over 

— Yes, no, yes, no, no, yes — finger by finger — " Does she love 
me? " Surely she loves me, let her do what she likes — 

Father! Mother! Where are you? Corpses? Perhaps some Rus- 
sian has played tricks — oh wait — wait — But tears — they 
have not flowed for so long — oh, so long, so long I could not 
weep — how glad — how wretched — Glad and wretched — If 
I'm wretched, I can't be glad — and yet it is sweet — This is 
a strange state — but that is so with a corpse ; it's well and not 
well with it at the same moment. It is transferred to a happier 
life, and is glad, it regrets the life it is leaving and is sad. It 
must feel as I felt when I left off weeping. It was like some mo- 
mentary death of feeling; for a moment I died in my heart; 
no, my heart died in me for a moment. Ah, why not for always! 

— Perhaps it would be more endurable then — Alone! Alone! 

— There are no words for my misery; how can I bear this 
feeling — 



69. 

[A hitherto unknown letter] 

To K. Kumelski. 
Paris, 18. IX. 1831. 

My dear Life ! 

You tell me that you have been ill; why was I not there! I 
would not have allowed it; and I am surprised that dancing did 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

not keep a jigger [?] like you from it. For, indeed, it is not 
worth while to think in this world ; if you were here, you would 
accept that maxim. Every Frenchman dances and shouts, even 
if his bones are bare. I arrived here fairly comfortably (though 
expensively), and am glad that I am remaining here; I have 
the first musicians in the world, and the first opera in the world. 
I know Rossini, Cherubini, Paër, etc., etc.; and perhaps may 
stay longer than I intended. Not because I am getting on any 
too well here, but because, with time, I may get on well. But 
you have luck. You are approaching your . . . [word illeg- 
ible] ; perhaps I shall never see them. You would not believe 
how many [?] Poles there are here. Of those [?] who do not 
live together or seek each other out . . . but you will find many 
of them in Berlin. Freymanek, whom I got to know, by some queer 
chance, at the Italian opera, is here, just back from England, 
which he cannot praise highly enough. His father and family 
are in Berlin — he asked me to tell you so — you will probably 
have pleasure in meeting him, if you suffer from that consump- 
tion of the purse so prevalent among us. Also Romuald is said 
to be there; about that you can learn from Alfons Brandt, the 
son of that doctor from my native town. Alfons is studying medi- 
cine, it will be easier to locate him ; and when you find him, em- 
brace him ; Romuald has spent his life in their house. He will be 
able to tell you of many other acquaintances who are there. That 
Benedykt tells me he is sure that Karol (the horse-doctor) is at 
home; this will doubtless reassure you about your family. I 
know no more what Seweryn is doing than I know about Anton 
and Władzio. But I hope to hear some news of the Bayers; every 
day I dine with Radziwiłł (whom I found here) and with Wal- 
enty, the elder brother of the one who has Stecka, at the Komars', 
with whom I know Bayer was in correspondence. Yesterday 
I dined at the house of Pani Potocka — Mieczyslaw's pretty 
young wife; I am gradually launching myself in the world, but 
I have only one ducat in my pocket! Even so, that's better than 
you! But I am writing you nothing about the impression pro- 
duced on me by this big town after Stuttgart and Strasbourg. 
There is the utmost luxury, the utmost swinishness, the utmost 
virtue, the utmost ostentation; at every step advertisements of 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

ven . . . disease; shouting, racket, bustle, and more mud than 
it is possible to imagine: one can perish in this paradise, and 
it is convenient from this point of view, that nobody asks how 
anybody lives. You can walk in the streets in winter, dressed in 
rags, and frequent tip-top society ; one day you can eat the most 
hearty dinner for 32 sous in a restaurant with mirrors, gilding 
and gas lighting, and the next you can lunch where they will give 
you enough for a dicky-bird to eat, and charge 3 times as much: 
that happened to me before I had paid the necessary tax on 
ignorance. 

What a lot of charitable ladies! They just run after people; 
nevertheless there is no lack whatever of hefty sharks [ ? ] . I am 
sorry that, in spite of Benedykt's efforts (by the way, he regards 
my misfortunes as something very trifling) — the memory of 
Teressa [sic] forbids me to taste forbidden fruit. But I already 
know several lady vocalists, and lady vocalists here are even 
more anxious for duets than those of the Tyrol. Once, on my 
5th floor (I am at Boulevard Poissonière, No. 27 — you 
wouldn't believe what a delightful lodging; I have a little room 
beautifully furnished with mahogany, and a balcony over the 
boulevard, from which I can see from Mont Martre to the 
Panthéon and the whole length of the fashionable quarter; many 
persons envy me my view, but none my stairs) — Well, one 
evening I was looking through my correspondence — or writing 
in that album, and glancing at some letters — it seemed to me 
that all these memories were a dream; I cannot believe the 
things that really happened; and especially incredible seems 
the excursion to the Schwarzbach — those Americans! — Ah, 
nothing like it. — When shall we go over those reminiscences 
together! I expect to stay here three years. I am in very close 
relations with Kalkbrenner, the 1st pianist of Europe, whom 
I think you would like. (He is one whose shoe-latchet I am not 
worthy to untie. Those Herzes, and so on, — I tell you they are 
just windbags and will never play any better.) So, if I stay here 
three years, Bezendz [?] may come along; perhaps I may be 
able to embrace him and play the Stumma. Keep up a good 
heart; may all go with you as you desire. I hope it will be so; 
take warning by Newazendzio [?], who lost many friends on 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

the field [of battle?], who has old parents, and, instead of help- 
ing them, is on their hands, who loves like peas against a wall, 1 
who now is orphaned of friends and must peg out somewhere in 
Berlin! 

Yours for ever Fryc 

Filing has gone to London for a month, with Karwowski, the 
former prosektor of our University. Stańcio borrowed from me 
while I had anything to lend; he is now hanging about the Pa- 
lais Royal — that is all his business here — he hopes to get a 
pension from the government, for his services as a zealous 
Austrian — there are packs of such [erased] here! If this scrawl 
is too stupidly written, forgive my haste. But you know that I 
would rather play than write. Pos . . . is ill [ ? ] ; there's your : 
" Holy cross above all." 

Tell Alfons that Kontratowicz came to see me yesterday; he 
is a lieutenant; also tell him to write to me. 
[A piece torn off] 

I am glad you told me of the death of Debol [?] ; I have ex- 
plained to several of his friends here who have been wondering 
why they had no news and no news at all of him. 

Do write to me, don't be lazy! 

[Last line torn off] 



70. 

To Tytus Wojciechowski in Poturzyń. 
Paris, 12 December 1831. 

My dearest Life ! 

I began to live again when I got your letter. Your contusion! 
— Various rumours have reached me, I have interpreted phrases 
in letters from home this way and that — and when Kot wrote 
to me he used such a strange expression that I was afraid of the 
thoughts that crowded into my head. So we shall really meet 
again in life! All these changes and troubles, who could have 

1 A Polish idiom. 

153 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

foreseen them? Do you remember our talk at Vienna, the night 
before you left? The wind has blown me here; it's good to rest, 
but perhaps one frets more when things are easy. Paris is 
whatever you choose : you can amuse yourself, be bored, laugh, 
cry, do anything you like, and nobody looks at you; because 
thousands of others are doing the same as you, and everyone 
goes his own road. I don't know where there can be so many 
pianists as in Paris, so many asses and so many virtuosi. You 
must know that I arrived here with very few introductions. 
Malf atti gave me a letter to Paër ; I had two or three letters from 
the Vienna publishers, and that was all. But in Stuttgart, where 
the news of the taking of Warsaw reached me, I finally decided 
to migrate to this other world. Through Paër, who is court 
conductor here, I have met Rossini, Cherubini, Baillot, etc. — 
also Kalkbrenner. You would not believe how curious I was 
about Herz, Liszt, Hiller, etc. — They are all zero beside 
Kalkbrenner. I confess that I have played like Herz, but would 
wish to play like Kalkbrenner. If Paganini is perfection, Kalk- 
brenner is his equal, but in quite another style. It is hard to de- 
scribe to you his calm, his enchanting touch, his incomparable 
evenness, and the mastery that is displayed in every note; he 
is a giant, walking over Herz and Czerny and all, — and over 
me. What can I do about it? When I was introduced, he asked 
me to play something. I should have liked to hear him first; but, 
knowing how Herz plays, I put my pride in my pocket and sat 
down. I played my E minor, which the Rhinelanders: the Lind- 
painters, Bergs, Stuntzes, Schunks and all Bavaria had so raved 
over. I astonished Kalkbrenner, who at once asked me, was I not 
a pupil of Field, because I have Cramer's method and Field's 
touch. (That delighted me.) I was still more pleased when 
Kalkbrenner, sitting down to the piano and wanting to do his 
best before me, made a mistake and had to break off! But you 
should have heard it when he started again ; I had not dreamed 
of anything like it. Since then we meet daily; either he comes to 
me or I to him; and on closer acquaintance he has made me an 
offer; that I should study with him for three years, and he will 
make something really — really out of me. I answered that 
I know how much I lack; but that I cannot exploit him, and 

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3 years is too much. But he has convinced me that I can play 
admirably when I am in the mood, and badly when I am not; 
a thing which never happens to him. After close examination he 
told me that I have no school; that I am on an excellent road, but 
can slip off the track. That after his death, or when he finally 
stops playing, there will be no representative of the great piano- 
forte school. That even if I wish it, I cannot build up a new 
school without knowing the old one ; in a word : that I am not a 
perfected machine, and that this hampers the flow of my thoughts. 
That I have a mark in composition ; that it would be a pity not 
to become what I have the promise of being; — and so on and 
so on. If you had been here, you would have said : — Learn, my 
boy, while you have the chance. Many have tried to dissuade 
me, thinking that I shall manage to play all right without it, that 
he makes the offer from arrogance, so that afterwards people 
should call me his pupil, etc., etc. All that is rubbish. You 
must know that Kalkbrenner's person is as much hated here as 
his talent is respected by all and sundry; he does not make 
friends with every fool, and, as I love you, he is superior to every- 
thing that I have heard. I have written to my parents about it. 
They consent, but I think they are jealous for Eisner. Also 
you must know that I already have a huge reputation among the 
artists here ; I am giving a concert on December 25th. Paganini's 
famous rival Baillot will play, also Brodt, a famous oboist; I 
give my F minor, and the B flat major Variations. A few days 
ago I received from a German in Cassel who is enthusiastic 
about these Variations, a ten-page review, in which, after an 
immense preface, he goes on to analyse them, measure by meas- 
ure; saying that they are not Variations in the usual sense, but 
some kind of fantastic tableaux. About the 2nd Variation he 
says that Don Juan is running with Leporello; that in the 3rd 
he is embracing Zerlina and Mazetto raging in the left hand; 
that in the 5th measure of the Adagio Don Juan is kissing Zer- 
lina in D flat major. Yesterday Plater asked me; where is that 
D flat major? One can die of the imagination of this German, 
who insists that his brother-in-law should send it to Fétis, for the 
Revue Musicale; from this the good Hiller rescued me with 
difficulty, by telling the brother-in-law that the thing is not 

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clever at all but very stupid. Hiller is an immensely talented 
fellow (a former pupil of Hummel) whose concerto and Sym- 
phony produced a great effect three days ago; he's on the same 
lines as Beethoven, but a man full of poetry, fire and spirit. But 
to return to the concerto. I am also to play with Kalkbrenner 
(on two pianos, with 4 others, accompanying), his Marche suivie 
d'une Polonaise. It is a crazy notion. One pantaleon is huge, be- 
longing to Kalkbrenner; the other, which belongs to me, is a 
tiny monochord, but resonant, like little żyraf ki [? x ] bells; and 
the other four are large, for an orchestra. Hiller, Osborn, Sta- 
maty and Sowiński are to play them. The last-named is not fit 
to hold a candle to poor Aleks [?] (whose pupil I have met 
here). He has not much head, but a good figure, and a heart. 
Norblin, 2 Vidal 3 and the famous Ubran, such an alto as I have 
never heard, will support me. The tickets are selling. The hard- 
est thing was to get women singers. Rossini would have let me 
have one from the opera, if he could have arranged it without 
M. Robert, the assistant conductor, whose feelings he did not 
want to hurt with 200 or 300 such requests. But I have told you 
nothing so far about the opera. I had never really heard the 
Barber till last week with Lablache, Rubini, and Malibran 
(Garcia). Nor had I heard Othello till I heard it with Rubini, 
Pasta and Lablache, nor The Italian, 4 till with Rubini, Lablache 
and Mme Raimbeaux. If ever I had everything at once, it's now, 
in Paris. You can't conceive what Lablache is like! Pasta is 
said to have gone off somewhat; but I have seen nothing more 
exalted. Malibran depends only on her marvellous voice; no one 
sings like her! Wonderful, wonderful! Rubini is a splendid 
tenor; takes his notes authentically, not in falsetto, and some- 
times sing roulades for 2 hours together (but sometimes em- 
broiders too much and makes his voice tremble purposely; also 
he continually trills; which, however, brings him more applause 
than all else). His mezza voce is incomparable. Schrôder-Dev- 
rient is here; but does not produce such a furore as in Germany. 

1 The old tall upright grand pianos were called in Poland zyrafki (little gi- 
raffes), but whether any of them had small bell attachments I do not know. 

2 Famous Polish cellist, 1781-1854; cello professor at the Paris Conservatoire. 

3 Famous French violinist, 1789-1867 ; conductor of the Theatre Italien in Paris, 
and first violin in Louis Philippe's orchestra. 

4 L'ltaliana in Algeri. Rossini. 1st performance 1813. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Malibran played Othello, and she Desdemona. Malibran is 
small, and the German woman is huge; it looked as if Desde- 
mona would smother Othello. It was an expensive performance; 
only 24 francs, all places; to see Malibran blacked and playing 
the part none too well. They are to give the Pirate 1 and Sonnam- 
bula,' 2 etc. Pasta has gone; they say she won't sing any more. 
The orchestra is splendid, but not in comparison with the real 
French opera (l'Académie Royale). I don't know whether there 
has ever been such magnificence in a theatre, whether it has ever 
before attained to the pomp of the new 5-act opera, " Robert le 
Diable," 3 by Mayerber [sic], who wrote Crociato 4 — It is a 
masterpiece of the new school, in which devils (huge choirs) sing 
through speaking-trumpets, and souls rise from graves (but not, 
as in The Charlatan, 5 just in groups of 50 or 60) ; in which there 
is a diorama in the theatre, in which at the end you see the in- 
térieur of a church, the whole church, at Christmas or Easter, 
lighted up, with monks, and all the congregation on the benches, 
and censors : — even with the organ, the sound of which on the 
stage is enchanting and amazing, also it nearly drowns the or- 
chestra ; nothing of the sort could be put on anywhere else. Mey- 
erbeer has immortalized himself! But he has spent three years in 
Paris to get it done; it is said he has paid 20,000 francs to the 
cast. Mme Cinti-Damoreau sings as superbly as possible; I pre- 
fer her singing to Malibran's. Malibran amazes, Cinti delights, 
and her chromatic scales are better than those of Toulon the 
famous flutist. No voice could be more highly trained ; it seems to 
cost her so little to sing, as if she just blew it at the audience. 
Nourrit, the French tenor, has wonderful feeling ! and Cholet, at 
the Opéra Comique, where they give Fra Diavolo, La Fiancée 6 
and Zampa 7 (a fine new opera by Hérold), is the first amant 
here: séducteur, tantalizing, marvellous, a genius with the real 
voice of romance. He has created his own style. At the Opéra 
Comique they are now giving " Marquise de Brinvillière " : that 

1 II Pirata. Bellini. 1st performance 1827. 

2 Bellini; 1831. 

3 1831. 

4 II Crociato in Egitto; 1824 (one of Meyerbeer's early compositions). 

5 Opera by Kurpiński. 

6 Opera by Auber. 1st performance 1829. 

7 1st performance 1831 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

was a woman who poisoned people at the time of Louis 14th or 
15th. Eight persons 1 have written music about her: Cherubini, 
Paër, Berton, Hérold, Auber, Baton, Blanquini and Caraffa. I 
think it would be hard to find a finer concert company. Write me 
what you think. However, you must observe that I have not got 
struck silly; — I don't want to make a fool of myself. Pixis is 
very respectful to me ; partly because I play, partly because he is 
jealous of his girl, who likes me better than him!! For heaven's 
sake do write to me, — or come. Yours till death, and perhaps 
not long. 

F. Chopin 

Old Potier is excellent! The young one is here with Herwet 
[sic'], Evra, Tiery and Files, but I have not seen them. I am 
lodging at No. 27 Boulevard Poissonière. You did not give me 
your address, I had to find out from Wodziński. Pleyel's pianos 
are non plus ultra. Of the Poles here I see Kunasik, Morawski, 
Niemoj, Lelewel and Plichta ; there are also a huge lot of idiots. 
I often call on Panna Jawurek, but that's all. She is pretty. 
Oleszczyński wants to make an etching of me. Two days ago I 
went with Brykczyński to Pani Tyszkiewicz ; but Poniatowski has 
not come yet; today I go to Montebello. But for Wodziński I 
should not have your address, Sir Featherhead. The Wodzińskis 
expect you here; I want you only sometimes, when I go nearly 
crazy with melancholy, especially if it rains. Panna Gładkowska 
has married Grabowski, but that does not preclude platonie 
affections. Baillot has just come; I must seal this letter. Love me. 

I can't refrain from telling you my adventure with Pixis. 
Imagine, he has a very pretty 15-year-old girl living with him, 
whom it is said he thinks of marrying and whom I met when I 
visited him in Stuttgart. Pixis, on arriving here, invited me to 
call, but did not mention that the girl, whom I had forgotten, 
had arrived with him. (I might have called sooner, had I 
known.) He asked me to call, so after a week I went. On the 
stairs I was pleased to see the young pupil; she asked me in, 
saying Herr Pixis was out, but it did not matter, come in and 
rest, he will soon be in, etc. We both feel a little tremulous. 

1 in collaboration. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Knowing that the old man is jealous, I excuse myself, I will 
come again, and so on. Meanwhile, as we stand discussing pret- 
tily on the stairs in the innocence of our hearts, up comes the 
little Pixis, looks (in the manner of Soliwa) through large 
spectacles, to see who is on the stairs and talking to his belle, 
and then, hurrying upstairs, poor fellow, stops in front of me, 
says brusquely: " Bon jour," and to her: — " Q' est-ce que vous 
faites ici? " — and a huge jeremiad of German devils at her, for 
daring to receive young men during his absence. I also (smiling 
and ignoring everything) upheld Pixis, scolding her for going 
out so lightly clad, just in her stuff dress, and so on. At last 
the old man realized : — swallowed, took me by the arm, con- 
ducted me into the salon, didn't know where to put me to sit, he 
was so afraid I should take offence and play some trick on him 
in his absence, or else murder the pupil. Afterwards he accom- 
panied me downstairs, and seeing that I was still laughing — (I 
could not hide my amusement at the joke of anybody supposing 
me capable de that sort of thing) — he then went to the con- 
cierge to find out when and how I got on the stairs, and so on. 
From that day Pixis can't say enough in praise of my talent to 
all the publishers, and especially to Schlesinger, who has en- 
gaged me to write something on themes from Robert, which he 
has bought from Meyerbeer for 24,000 francs ! How do you like 
it? I, as a séducteur! 



71. 

To Joseph Elsner in Warsaw. 
Paris, 14 December 1831. 

Dear Pan Elsner! 

Your letter gave me fresh proof of the paternal care and real 
benevolence which you are still good enough to continue to- 
wards the most affectionate of your pupils. In 1830, though I 
knew how much I lack and how far I have to go if I am to ap- 
proach any standard of yours, I still made bold to think: — " At 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

least I shall get a little nearer to him; and if not a Cubit, 1 at 
least a Spindleshanks may come out of my brainpan." But to- 
day, seeing all such hopes destroyed, I must think of clearing 
a path for myself in the world as a pianist, putting off till some 
later time those higher artistic hopes which your letter rightly 
puts forward. To be a great composer, one must have enormous 
knowledge, which, as you have taught me, demands not only 
listening to the work of others, but still more listening to one's 
own. Over a dozen able young men, pupils of the Paris Conserva- 
toire, are waiting with folded hands for the performance of their 
operas, symphonies and cantatas, which only Cherubini and 
Lesueur have seen on paper ; — I am not speaking of minor 
theatres, though even there it is difficult to get in; and when 
you do get in like Thomas at Leopoldstadt, no artistic result of 
importance is achieved, even in spite of fine qualities. Meyerbeer, 
who has had a reputation as an opera composer for 10 years, 
had waited in Paris for three years, working and paying, when 
(there being at last too much of Auber) he arrived at pro- 
ducing his Robert le Diable, which has caused a furore in Paris. 
To my mind, in order to appear before the musical world, a man 
is fortunate if he is at once a composer and an actor. Here 
and there in Germany I am known as a pianist; certain musical 
papers have spoken of my concerts, raising hopes that I shall 
shortly be seen taking rank among the first virtuosi of my in- 
strument; which means: — " disce puer faciam te," of course, 
sir. Today only one possibility offers for the fulfilment of this 
promise; why should I not seize it? In Germany I could not 
have learned the piano from anyone; for though there were 
persons who felt that I still lack something, no one knew what; 
and I also could not see the beam in my own eye which still 
prevents my looking higher. Three years are a long time; too 
long; even Kalkbrenner admits that, now that he has examined 
more closely ; which should convince you that a genuine virtuoso 
of proved worth knows no jealousy. But I would be willing to 
stick to it for three years, if that will only enable me to take 
a big step forward in what I have undertaken. I understand 

1 A reference to Eisner's opera: King Cubit, and possibly to Chopin's own thin 
legs. "Łokietek" (cubit) and "Laskonogi" (spindleshanks) were nicknames of 
two old Polish kings. [Op.] 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

enough not to become a copy of Kalkbrenner; nothing will in- 
terfere with my perhaps overbold but at least not ignoble desire 
to create a new world for myself; and if I work, it is in order 
to have a firmer standing. Ries found it easier to obtain laurels 
for The Bride in Berlin and Frankfort because he was known as a 
pianist. How long had Spohr been noted as a violinist before he 
wrote Jessonda, Faust, and so on? I hope that you will not refuse 
me your blessing, seeing on what principle I enter upon this 
undertaking. My parents will doubtless tell you of the postpone- 
ment of my concert of the 25th. I have very bad luck over the 
arrangements; and but for Paër, Kalkbrenner, and especially 
Norblin (who sends you kindest greetings) I should not be able 
to give it in so short a time; in Paris 2 months count as short. 
Baillot, very courteous and pleasant, will play the Beethoven 
Quintet; Kalkbrenner the Duo, with me and a 4-piano accom- 
paniment. Reich I have merely seen ; you know how eager I was 
to meet that man; now I know several of his pupils, who have 
given me a different impression of him. He does not care for 
music, does not even attend the Conservatoire concerts, does 
not wish to talk of music with anyone, during his lessons looks 
continually at his watch ; and so on ; Cherubini also just babbles 
of cholera and revolutions. These people are dried up chrysa- 
lises, whom one can only regard with respect, and learn some- 
thing from their works. Fétis, whom I know, and from whom one 
can really learn much, lives outside the town and comes in to 
Paris only for lessons, as otherwise he would long have been 
in Sainte Pélagie for debts; of which he has more than his 
Revue Musicale brings in. You must know that, according to 
the law, debtors in Paris can be arrested only in their domicile; 
so he does not stay in his domicile but goes out of town where 
the law cannot reach him till after a certain time. There is an 
amazing collection here of interesting musical folk of every 
description: a multitude. Three orchestras: the Academy, the 
Italian, and Fédau's, are splendid; Rossini is the Régisseur of 
his own opera, which is produced better than any other in Eu- 
rope. Lablache, Rubini, Pasta (she has now left), Malibran, 
Devrient, Schroder, Santini and others enchant us three times a 
week on a grand scale. Nourrit, Levasseur, Derivis, Mme Cinti- 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Damoreau, Mlle Dorus sustain grand opera; Cholet, Mlle Casi- 
mir, Prévost are admirable in comic opera; in a word, here, 
for the first time, one can learn what singing is. Certainly today, 
not Pasta but Malibran (Garcia) is the first singer in Europe 
— marvellous ! Walenty Radziwiłł raves over her, and we often 
bring you up in this connection, saying how you would admire 
her! Lesueur thanks you for remembering him, and asks me 
to send you a million salutes; he always remembers you most 
kindly and asks me every time: — " et que fait notre bon mon- 
sieur Elsner," — " racontez-moi de ses nouvelles," x — and at 
once refers to your Requiem that you sent him. All of us here 
love and admire you, beginning with me and ending with your 
godson, Antonij Orłowski, who probably will not very soon get 
his operetta performed, because the sujet is not the best one, 
and also the theatre is closed till new year. The king is not 
lavish with money, times are hard for artists altogether; only 
the English pay. I could go on writing till tomorrow; enough of 
this dull letter. Accept the assurance of my gratitude and the 
respect with which I remain till death your most affectionate 
pupil 

F. F. Chopin 

I kiss the hands of Pani and Panna Elsner, and wish them all 
good things for the New Year. 



72. 

To Tytus Wojciechowski in Poturzyń. 
Paris, 25 December 1831. 

My dearest Life! 

This is the second year that I have to send your name-day 
wishes from beyond ten frontiers. One glance might do more 
to keep you in my heart than ten letters. So I will leave that; I 

1 And what is our good Mr. Eisner doing? Tell me some news of him. 

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don't want to write ex abrupto, and have not bought one of those 
little books of etiquette, with lists of congratulations, which 
girls and boys sell in the streets for 2 sous. This is a queer peo- 
ple; as soon as evening comes you hear nothing but voices call- 
ing out the titles of new chapbooks; sometimes you can buy 3, 4 
sheets of rubbish for a sou. It is: — " L' art de faire les amants, 
et de les conserver ensuite," 1 "Les amours des prêtres," 2 " U ar- 
chevêque de Paris avec Mme la Duchesse du Barry," 3 and a 
thousand other such indecencies, sometimes very wittily writ- 
ten. It is really wonderful to see the methods people hit on here 
to earn a few pennies. You know that there is great distress here; 
the exchange is bad, and you can often meet ragged folk with 
important faces, and sometimes you can hear menacing re- 
marks about the stupid Philippe, who just hangs on by means 
of his ministers. The lower class is thoroughly exasperated, and 
would be glad at any moment to change the character of their 
misery; but unfortunately the government has taken too many 
precautions in this matter; so soon as the smallest street crowds 
collect, they are dispersed by mounted gendarmerie. You know 
that I live on the 4th floor, but in a most charming place, on 
the boulevard. I have a private iron balcony, very graceful, 
overlooking the street ; and I can see up and down the boulevards 
a long way to both right and left. Opposite me Ramorino 4 was 
lodging in the street, in the place called Cité bergère, where there 
is a big courtyard. You doubtless know how the Germans re- 
ceived him everywhere, how in Strasbourg the French harnessed 
themselves to his carriage; altogether, you know how enthusias- 
tic the masses are about our General. Paris did not want to be 
behindhand. The School of Medicine, the so-called "jeune 
France," which wears little beards and doubtless has regulations 
about the fastening of neckties (you must know that here every 
political party wears them differently — I mean the extrem- 
ists; the Carlists wear green waistcoats, the Republicans and 

1 The art of having lovers and keeping them. 

2 The love affairs of priests. 

s The archbishop of Paris with the Duchess du Barry. 

4 Girolamo Ramorino, Italian general; born 1792, court-martialled and shot 
1849. Served in the French army; took part in the Piedmontese insurrection of 
1821; in 1830 joined the Polish insurgent army, but proved to be more a hin- 
drance than a help. 

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chopin's letters 

Napoleonists — that is just " jeune France/' the Saint Simonists 
or new christians, who are creating a separate religion, and 
are also for equality, and have enormous numbers of followers: 
these wear blue, and so on, and so on). So about a thousand 
of such young men, with a non-ministerial tri-colour flag, 
marched through the whole town to welcome Ramorino. Though 
he was at home he did not want to risk unpleasantness with the 
government (he is a fool about this), so, in spite of the cries 
and shouts of " Vive les polonais," etc., he would not show 
himself. His adjutant (probably Dzialyński) came out and said 
that the General invites them to call on him another day. And 
the next morning he moved out from there. Two or three days 
later, an enormous crowd, not only young men this time, but a 
general crowd, collected in front of the Panthéon and crossed 
Paris to Ramorino. It increased like a snowball as it passed 
from street to street, till by the bridge (pont neuf) the mounted 
men began to disperse it. Many were hurt; nevertheless a large 
crowd collected on the boulevards, under my windows, joining 
those who arrived from the other side of the town. The police 
could do nothing with the surging mass ; a detachment of infan- 
try arrived ; hussars, mounted adjutants de place 1 on the pave- 
ments ; the guard equally zealous, shoving aside the excited and 
muttering crowd, seizing, arresting free citizens, — nervous- 
ness, shops closing, groups of people at all the corners of the 
boulevards; whistles, galloping messengers, windows crammed 
with spectators (as at home on Easter Day) ; and this con- 
tinued from 11 in the morning till 11 at night. I began to hope 
that perhaps something would get done; but it all ended with 
singing of "Allons enfants de la patrie" by a huge chorus at 
11 at night. You will scarcely realize what an impression these 
menacing voices of an unsatisfied crowd produced on me. The 
next morning people expected the beginning of a constitution 2 
from this émeute, as they call it here, — but the idiots are sitting 
quiet to this day. Only Grenoble has followed Lyons, and the 
devil knows what is going to happen next. Today, in the Theatre 
Françon where only melodramas and tableaux with horses are 
given, they are to give a review of our contemporary history. 

1 Military police. 

2 Phrase ambiguous. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

People are rushing like mad to see all the costumes, and Panna 
Plater, who plays a part in it, with persons who are given such 
names as Lodoiska, Faniska, — there is even one called Flo- 
reska ; x there is a general Gigult, supposed to be Plater's brother, 
and so on. But nothing amused me so much as the announce- 
ment in one of the theatres, that during the entr'acte " Dobruski's 
mazurka Jeszore Polska mirgineta " 2 will be played. As I love 
you, I am not joking; I have witnesses, who shared my amaze- 
ment that the French can be so stupid! A propos of my con- 
cert; it is put off till the 15th on account of the singer, whom 
M. Veron, the director of the opera, has refused me. Today there 
is a big concert in the Italian opera house, with Malibran, Ru- 
bini, Lablache, Santini, Mme Raimbeaux, Mme Schroder, Mme 
Cavadory ; Herz will play also, and — what is most interesting to 
me — Beriot, the violinist with whom Malibran is in love. I 
wish you were here; you can't think how mournful it is to have 
no one to wag one's tongue with. You know how easily I make 
acquaintances; how I like to gossip with people about blue al- 
monds ; 3 — well, I have no end of such acquaintance ; and not 
one with whom I can be sad. In feeling I am always in a state 
of syncopation with everyone. It torments me, and you would 
not believe how I long for a pause, to have no one come near 
me all day long. When I am writing to you, I cannot bear to 
hear the doorbell; some person in whiskers, huge, tall, superb, 
— comes in, sits down to the piano and improvises he doesn't 
know what, bangs and pounds without any meaning, throws 
himself about, crosses his hands, clatters on one key for five 
minutes with an enormous thumb that once belonged in the 
Ukraina, holding the reins or wielding a bailiff's cudgel. Here 
you have the portrait of Sowiński, who possesses no other merit 
than a good figure and a good heart. If ever I have seen a clear 
picture of charlatanism or stupidity in art, it is now, in what I 
often have to listen to while I am walking about or washing in 
my room. My ears burn; I could fling him out of doors; but I 
must spare his feelings, even be affectionate on my side. You 

1 Imaginary names, purporting to be Polish. 

2 An attempt at the opening words of the battle hymn of the Polish insurgents: 
"Jeszcze Polska nie zginęła": Poland has not perished yet. 

3 impossible dreams: castles in the air. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

can't imagine what it's like; but as people here think a lot of 
him (they can't see beyond neckties), one has to be chums with 
him. Most of all he enrages me with his collection of pothouse 
tunes; senseless, vilely accompanied, put together without the 
slightest knowledge of harmony or prosody, with contredanse 
cadences; these he calls a collection of Polish songs. You know 
how I have longed to feel our national music, and to some extent 
have succeeded in feeling it; — sometimes he gets hold of 
something of mine, now here, now there; something the beauty 
of which often depends on the accompaniment; and starts to 
play it in a tipsy, cackling, pothouse or parish organ style; and 
there's nothing you can say, because he won't understand any- 
thing beyond what he has picked up. On the other side there's 
Nowakowski. And he talks ! About everything ; especially about 
Warsaw, where he has never been. Of the Poles here I see most of 
Wodziński and Brykczyński ; very nice boys. Wodzyńsio 1 al- 
ways asks me why you don't come. They expect you because they 
don't know you. I think I do, and I know when you will come. At 
the moment when I start to describe to you a certain ball, at 
which a certain deity with a rose in her black hair enchanted me, 
I shall get your letter. Everything moderne has gone out of my 
head ; I turn all the more to you, take you by the hand, and weep. 
I have had your letter from Lwów; we shall not meet, then, till 
later; and perhaps not at all, for, seriously, my health is bad. I 
am gay on the outside, especially among my own folk (I count 
Poles my own) ; but inside something gnaws at me; some pre- 
sentiment, anxiety, dreams — or sleeplessness, — melancholy, 
indifference, — desire for life, and the next instant, desire for 
death: some kind of sweet peace, some kind of numbness, ab- 
sent-mindedness; and sometimes definite memories worry me. 
My mind is sour, bitter, salt; some hideous jumble of feelings 
shakes me! I am stupider than ever. My Life, forgive me. 
Enough. And now I must dress and go out, or rather drive out, 
to the dinner that is to be given today for Ramorino and Langer- 
man; there are to be some hundreds in the immense restaurant 
Au Rocher Cancal. A few days ago Kunacki and the good Bier- 
nacki brought me an invitation, so décidément Karol is not his 

1 diminutive of Wodziński. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

son-in-law. There was a lot of news for me in your today's letter. 
You favoured me with 4 pages and 37 lines: that has never hap- 
pened in my life before, never in my life have you granted me 
such abundance; and I needed something like that, needed it 
badly. What you write about the journey is really so, according 
to my belief. Don't think evil about that, dear; I will go in my 
own carriage, but just engage a driver for the horses. Dear, for- 
give my letter being such a contrast. I must stop, or I'll never get 
to the post, and I'm my own valet. Write, please; I embrace you. 
Yours till death. 

Fryc 

I send this letter, relying on your mercy. 



73. 

[Fragment] 
[In French] 

To Ferdinand Hiller. 
Paris, 2 August 1832. 

. . . Your Trios, my dear Fellow, have long been finished ; and, 
being a greedy person, I have swallowed your manuscripts into 
my repertory; your Concerto will be performed this month at 
the Conservatoire contest by Adam's pupils ; Mlle Lyon plays it 
very well. 

La Tentation? an opera-ballet by Halévy and Gide, has 
tempted no one of good taste, for it is as little interesting as 
your Germanic diet is in unison with the spirit of this century. 

Maurice, who has returned from London, where he went for 
the staging of Robert (which had no success), assured us that 
Moscheles and Field are coming to Paris for the winter; that 
is all the news I have to give you — Osborne has been in Lon- 
don for 2 months. Pixis is at Boulogne. Kalkbrenner is at 

1 The Temptation. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Meudon; Rossini at Bordeaux. All those who know you await 
you with open arms. Liszt is to write you two lines at the end of 
this sheet. Goodbye, dear friend. 

Most heartily yours, 

F. Chopin 



74. 

To Dominik Dziewanowski. 
[Undated, Paris, 1832.~\ 

Dear Domus'! 

If I had a friend (a friend with a big crooked nose; I'm not 
talking of any other) who killed horse-flies with me at Szafarnia 
years ago, who always loved me steadily; and if that friend 
were to go abroad and then not write one word to me, — I should 
have the worst opinion of him ; and even if he afterwards begged 
with tears for forgiveness, I would not forgive him. Yet I, Fryc, 
am brazenfaced enough to defend my negligence, and turn up 
again after all this silence, like an insect that crawls up out 
of the water when nobody is asking it to do so. 

But I won't try for explanations; I would rather admit my 
guilt, which perhaps seems bigger from the distance than it really 
is, for I am just torn a dozen ways at once. 

I have got into the highest society; I sit with ambassadors, 
princes, ministers; and even don't know how it came about, be- 
cause I did not try for it. It is a most necessary thing for me, 
because good taste is supposed to depend on it. At once you 
have a bigger talent if you have been heard at the English or 
Austrian embassy; you play better if princess Vaudemont (the 
last of the old Montmorency family) was your protector; — I 
can't say is, because the woman died a week ago. She was a lady 
rather like poor Zielonkowa, or the chatelaine Polanecka; the 
court used to visit her, she did a lot of good, she hid many aris- 
tocrats during the first revolution. She was the first person to 
present herself at Louis Philippe's court after the July days. 
She was surrounded by a multitude of little black and white 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

dogs, canaries, parrots; and also possessed the most amusing 
monkey in the whole of the great world here, which at evening 
receptions would bite . . . other countesses. 1 

Though this is only my first year among the artists here, I 
have their friendship and respect. One proof of respect is that 
even people with huge reputations dedicate their compositions 
to me before I do so to them: Pixis has inscribed to me his last 
Variations with a military band; also, people compose varia- 
tions on my themes. Kalkbrenner has used my mazurka 2 in this 
way ; the pupils of the Conservatoire, Moscheles's pupils, those 
of Herz and Kalkbrenner, — in a word, finished artists, take 
lessons from me and couple my name with that of Field. In short, 
if I were still stupider than I am, I should think myself at the 
apex of my career; yet I know how much I still lack, to reach 
perfection; I see it the more clearly now that I live only 
among first-rank artists and know what each one of them lacks. 

But I am ashamed of all this bosh that I have written; I 
have been boasting like a child; like a man who makes haste 
to defend himself when his cap is on fire. I would scratch it out, 
but have no time to write another sheet; anyhow, perhaps you 
have not forgotten what my character is like; if so, you will 
remember that I am today what I was yesterday: with this dif- 
ference, that I have only one whisker; the other refuses and 
still refuses to grow. 

I have five lessons to give today; you think I am making a 
fortune? Carriages and white gloves cost more, and without 
them one would not be in good taste. 

I love the Carlists, I can't endure the Philippists, myself I 
am a revolutionist; also I care nothing for money, only for 
friendship, for which I beg and pray you. 

Fryderyk 

1 Karasowski gives this passage with these omissions. 

2 Mazurka No. 1, Op. 7. [Op.] 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 
75. 

To Kalasanty Jędrzejewicz. 

(To be given to Panna Ludwika Chopin, who will doubtless 
guess to whom to deliver it. In any case information about him 
can be obtained from Pani Chopin.) 

My Very Dear Life! 

Forgive my sending this scrawl in answer to your nice letter; 
but you have given me the right to treat you with even more 
sincerity than before, so I know you won't mind about the paper. 
You tell me the news I longed for! I have always been fond 
of you, have always felt as a friend to you, and be assured that 
you will now find in me the person you ought to find. I would 
give half my life to be able to embrace you both on your wed- 
ding day and see you at the altar; but that cannot be; I can 
only send you, as you ask, a polonaise and a mazur, so that you 
can hop about and be really gay and that your souls may rejoice. 
I will not enlarge upon either your heart or hers, for that is 
not a brother's part; but you cannot believe how it worried me 
that this hung fire for so long, or how glad I am that it is to 
happen at last. May all go well with you. The sight of your hap- 
piness will make our whole family happy; it is the beginning of 
good years after the long chain of misfortunes. 

I press your hand and embrace you. Love me. 

Your most sincere 
Fryc 
Paris, 10 September 1832. 

My Life, once more, forgive my not writing a long letter. 
Perhaps I sin in the hope of pardon, but we know each other not 
from today or yesterday. Once again, love me as I love you. 



170 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



76. 



[In French. A joint letter to Ferdinand Hiller, from Liszt, 
Chopin and Franchomme.] 

Paris, 20 June 1833. 

[The first two paragraphs, omitted, are by Liszt. Chopin con- 
tinues:] 

He is so right that I, personally, have nothing to add in excuse 
for my negligence, or laziness, or grippe, or absent-mindedness, 
or, or, or — You know that I explain myself better in person, 
and when, this autumn, I escort you back to your mother late at 
night along the boulevards, I shall try to obtain your forgiveness. 
I write to you without knowing what my pen is scribbling, be- 
cause at this moment Liszt is playing my études, and transport- 
ing me outside of my respectable thoughts. I should like to steal 
from him the way to play my own études. As for your friends 
who remain in Paris, I have often seen the Leo family, and 
what that entails, during this winter and spring. There have 
been some evening parties given by certain Ambassadresses; 
and not one at which people did not speak of someone who stays 
at Frankfort. Mme Eichthal sends you a thousand kind mes- 
sages. Plater — all the family — was very sad at your depar- 
ture, and asks me to assure you of his regret. (Mme d'Appony 
was much annoyed with me for not bringing you to her before 
you left; she hopes that when you come back you will be kind 
enough to remember the promise that you made to me. I can 
tell you as much about a certain lady who is not an ambassa- 
dress.) 

[In alternate phrases. Do you know Chopin's marvellous 
Etudes? Chopin continues:] They are admirable — and all the 
same they will live only till the moment when yours appear. 
[Author's modesty!!! Chopin continues:] A little impertinence 
on the part of the director — for, to explain to you better, he 
is correcting my mistakes in spelling, according to M. Marlet's 
method. 

You come back to us in September, isn't it? Try [to let us 

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know the day, as we intend to give you a Charivari serenade.] 
The most distinguished company of artists in the Capital: 
M. Franchomme [present], Mme Petzold and the abbé Bardin, 
the dancers of the rue d'Amboise [and my neighbours, Maurice 
Schlesinger, uncles, aunts, nephews, nieces, brothers-in-law, sis- 
ters-in-law, etc., etc. — ] the third floor, etc. 

The responsible editors [F. Liszt,] F. Chopin, [Aug. Fran- 
chomme]. 

By the way ; yesterday I met Heine, who told me to " griis- 
sen " you " herzlich und herzlich." x 

By the way again, grace [Gruss?] for all you [incorrect] 
— please forgive me. If you have a moment to spare, give us 
news of you, which will be very dear to us: Paris, rue de la 
Chaussée d'Antin, No. 5. At present I am staying in Franck's 
lodging. He has left for London and Berlin. I am very happy 
in the rooms which were so often our meeting-place. Berlioz 
embraces you. 

As for papa Baillot, he is in Switzerland, at Geneva, and so 
you can guess that I cannot send you the Bach concerto. 



77. 
[In French] 

To M. Auguste Franchomme at Coteau. 
[Par is, September 1833 Ą 

Begun Saturday the 14th, finished Wednesday the 18th inst., 

Dear Friend! 

It would be useless to make excuses for my silence. If my 
thoughts could post themselves without paper! Anyhow, you 
know me well enough to know that unfortunately I never do 
what I ought to do. I arrived very comfortably (except for a 
small disagreeable episode caused by an excessively odoriferous 
gentleman who travelled as far as Chartres. He surprised me 

1 greet you heartily and heartily. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

in the night). I have found in Paris more occupations than I 
left, which will doubtless prevent my coming to see you at le 
Coteau! Coteau! Oh Coteau! My child, tell the whole household 
at Coteau that I shall never forget my visit in Touraine, — that so 
much kindness leaves eternal gratitude. People say I have grown 
fatter and look well, and I feel splendid, thanks to my dinner 
neighbours who took really maternal care of me. When I think 
of it, it all seems to me a dream, such a pleasant one that I wish 
I were still asleep. And the Pornic peasant women! And the 
flour! Or rather your gracefully formed nose which you were 
forced to thrust into — 

A very interesting visit interrupted this letter, which was be- 
gun three days ago and could not get finished till today. 

Hiller, Maurice and all the rest embrace you. I delivered 
your letter to his father, whom I did not find at home. Paër, 
whom I saw a few days ago, spoke to me of your return. 

Come back to us fat and well, like me. Another thousand 
messages to the estimable Forest family. I have neither words 
nor possibility to express all that I feel for them. Excuse me. 
Give me a handgrip, I pat you on the shoulder, I embrace you, 
I kiss you. 

My friend, au revoir. 

Hoffmann, the corpulent Hoffmann, and the slender Smitkow- 
ski also embrace you. 



78. 

To Feliks Wodziński. 
Paris, 18 July 1834. 

Dear Feliks! 

You have doubtless been thinking: " Fryc is in the doleful 
dumps, or he would have answered me." You remember that 
I always do everything too late. I went to Mlle Fauche too late. 
So I had to wait till after the good Wolf had gone. If I had not 
only just come back from the Rhineland, and had not business 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

which I cannot drop now at this moment, I should at once have 
gone to Geneva to accept with thanks your respected Mother's 
invitation. But fate is hard, and there is nothing to be done. Your 
Sister was so kind as to send me her composition. I was more 
delighted than I can say, and at once, the same evening, I im- 
provised, in one of the salons here, on a charming theme by 
that Maryna with whom I long ago raced about the rooms of the 
Poznań house — And today ! Je prends la liberté d'envoyer à 
mon estimable collègue Mlle Marie une petite valse que je viens 
de publier. 1 May it give her a hundredth part of the pleasure 
which I felt on receiving her variations. I end by once more most 
sincerely thanking your Mother for her kind remembrance of 
her faithful servant, in whom also flows a little Kujaw 2 blood. 

F. Chopin 

Embrace my dear Antek, and stifle Kazio with tendresses, if 
you can. As for Panna Marja, bow before her very elegantly and 
respectfully, in wonder, and say to yourself: " Good Lord, how 
it has grown up ! " 



79. 
To his Family. 
Carlsbad, 16 August [1835], 
(A postscript to his father's letter.) 

My dear Children, 

This is the first letter you will get with both Papa's and my 
writing. We are happier than we can describe. We hug each 
other and hug again ; what more can we do ; what a pity we are 
not all together. But, but, it's wonderful ! How good God is to us ! 
I'm writing all anyhow; it's better not to try to think today; 
just to be happy, now happiness has come. That's all I can do 
today. The same Parents, just the same as ever, only a little 
older. We walk, I take my Lady Mummy on my arm, we talk 

1 I take the liberty of sending to my estimable colleague Miss Mary a little 
waltz which I have just published. 

2 Vagabond, scaramouch. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

about you, we imitate naughty nephews, we tell how often we 
have thought about each other. We eat and drink together, we 
caress each other, we scold each other. I am au comble de mon 
bonheur. 1 The same ways, the same gestures with which I grew 
up, the same hand that I have not kissed for so long. Well, my 
children, I embrace you; and forgive me that I can't collect my 
thoughts and write about anything else but that we are happy 
at this minute, that I had only hope and now have the realiza- 
tion, and am happy, happy, happy. 

I could hug you and my brothers-in-law to death ; — my dear- 
est in this world. 

Ch. 

A thousand kisses to P. Żywny for the music, and a million greet- 
ings to Pan Wiesołowski, who brought my happiness some dozens 
of miles nearer to me. Ditto to Pan Fryd. Skarbek. 



80. 

To the Family of A. Barciński 2 in Warsaw. 
Paris, 14 March 1836. 

(In rhyme) 

I am well, and flourishing. 

This important news 
Goes with a hug 
To the children. 

F. F. Chopin 
(A Postscript by Jan Matuszyński) 



Another piece of news 
To the respected children, 
That Fryc will come 
To you next year. 



1 at the height of my happiness. 
8 the husband of his sister Izabela. 



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\ 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

81. 

To Teresa Wodzińska. 
Paris, 1 Nov[ember 1836.] 

Most Gracious and Honoured Lady 

I send on a letter from Pampeluna, signed by Antoś. 1 1 adopted 
Pani Diller's method, and it has worked. The object of this letter, 
it seems to me, is to get to the signature, and from Wincenty's 
postscripts you can see that Antoś is the same as ever, that people 
love and remember him, that he is as well as he can be, and not 
alone. 

I waited impatiently for this letter; and meanwhile the 
time for blessings had come to you all, for Feliks is probably al- 
ready married, and no doubt the wedding was gay and lavish, 
and everybody danced and drank healths, and calls were paid 
and returned for some days, and so on. Why, indeed, can't one 
have one of those mirrors that show everything, one of those 
rings that transport one where one's thoughts are reaching out 
to — And my parents who are asking news of me — Pan Bycz- 
kowski has not arrived yet; I will do my best for him. 

I am glad my letter today is only a cover for that of Antoś; 
otherwise there would be little for me to tell you, so far as the 
number of things goes. Today, somehow, news does not flow from 
my pen. For All Saints' Day, however, the signatures of Antoś 
and Pani Anatole, 2 put me right. I won't send any others to 
the Secretary, 3 as I am afraid to make the letter too heavy; be- 
fore winter I'll write and send some music. Pani Zofia still loves 
you all and loves to speak of you. Cicholo, my present neigh- 
bour, often asks after you. 

Why must it be twelve already? At twelve I have to give a les- 
son and to keep on till six; then dinner, and after that to an 
evening in society, till 11. As I respect you, that is the truth; I 
think of nothing but slippers 4 and play for the twilight hour. 5 

1 Her son, Anton Wodziński. 2 Anatole's wife. 

3 Marja Wodzińska, Pani Teresa's daughter, to whom he was engaged at the 
time; she signed her letters: "Your faithful secretary." 

4 Pani Teresa had asked whether he wore slippers and woollen socks and went 
to bed early. 

5 Karłowicz suggests that this may refer to his having become engaged to 
Panna Marja at dusk. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 



82. 



To the Same. 
Paris, 2 April 1837. 

I profit by Pani Nakwaska's permission to write a few words. 
I am hoping to hear directly from Anton and will send it on at 
once; a detailed letter with a postscript from Wincenty. Please 
do not be anxious about him. Everybody is still in the town. I 
have no details, because they all give particulars about them- 
selves. No doubt my letter of this month is in Służew * already 
and has reassured you, so far as that is possible, about that 
Spaniard, who must, must write a few words to me. I will not 
tell you how grieved I am at the news of the loss of your 
Mother : not for her, but for you whom I know. ( Consistency ! ) 
About that, I confess that there was a moment at Marienbad, 
over Panna Marja's book; in a hundred years I could not 
have written anything in it. There are days when I can't help 
myself. Today I would rather be in Służew than write to Służew. 
I could say more than I can write. My respects to Pan Wodziń- 
ski, Panna Marja, Kazio, Teresa, and Feliks. 

Affectionately 

F. Ch. 



83. 

To the Same. 

[Paris] 14 May 1837. 

Most Gracious Lady! 

Here are a few words from Anton. I haste to forward to you 
this proof of his good health and spirits. As he asks, I shall an- 
swer him at once, without waiting for a reply from Służew. I 
shall not mention the trouble at home, and shall probably re- 
ceive a more detailed letter (which also I will forward) telling 

1 The estate of the Wodzińskis. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

me what, where and how he thinks of being. I will write no more 
now, as I do not wish to miss the post; anyhow, everything would 
be colourless beside Anton's card. 

Most affectionately 

F. Chopin 

My respects to Pan Wodziński. Let me remind Panna Marja 
to write a few words to her brother. I embrace Kazio and Teresa. 
Greetings to Feliks and his wife. 



84. 

To Anton Wodziński. 

{Undated. Paris, May or June, 1837.1 

My dear Life ! 

You are wounded, and far from us; and at this moment I 
cannot send you anything — Your family just worries and wor- 
ries about you — For heaven's sake, do get well and come home. 
The papers say that your legion is completely destroyed. Don't 
go into the Spanish war — Remember that your blood can be 
needed for something better — Tytus writes to ask me to meet 
him somewhere in Germany. Last winter I was ill again with 
grippe, and was sent to Ems. I am not thinking of it yet; I can't 
get off to travel. I am writing and preparing a manuscript. I 
think more about you than you perhaps suppose, and I love you 
as always. 

F. C. 

Believe me that I remember you, as I do Tytus — Perhaps 
I will go for a few days to George Sand ; but that will not delay 
your money, because I will leave instructions with Jasio for 
those three days — 



178 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



85. 



To Teresa Wodzińska. 
Paris 18 June 1837. 

Most Gracious Lady! 

Antoś is in Saragossa ; he is well, and has just written to me, 
begging that your household should remember him. 

Since the skirmish near Huesca, their legion is completely 
disorganized; many are returning, and now, if ever, is the time 
when he needs your speedy help. As far as I could I responded 
to his request last month (immediately after receiving the let- 
ter written before Huesca, which I forwarded to you) but that 
is a drop in the ocean. Wincenty and Maurycy are also in Sa- 
ragossa; Maurycy's guardians advise them to return; it would 
be well if he could return with them, as he went. 

Meanwhile, when all around is trouble and disturbance, no- 
body worries here; weddings, balls, and festivities. They are 
so gay that they end by trampling each other; at the fireworks 
on the Field of Mars nearby twenty persons paid for their curi- 
osity with their lives in the crush, so that the hôtel de ville ball, 
for which over 15,000 tickets had been distributed, was can- 
celled. The new princess is universally liked; she is praised 
not for beauty, but for sense. She is not shy and commits no 
gaucheries, as she has been brought up among such festivities, 
not on Butterschnitsen 1 in Ludwigsburg. I have been nowhere, 
not even to Versailles, about the wonders of which not only 
Philippe's friends but those of the former dynasty enlarge. It 
has exceeded everyone's expectations. The weather has been 
propitious for the ceremonies; everything was a success, except 
the soup at a Versailles dinner for which the maître d'hôtel made 
the king wait. People were afraid the cook would follow in 
Vatel's footsteps. The Parisians are still to have the Garde Na- 
tionale ball at the Opéra, and a fête, which Rothschild is giving 
to the young prince at Ferière [sic], a very beautiful place that 
he has near Paris. 

And is the summer beautiful at Służew? Is there much 

1 Bread and butter. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

shade? Can one sit under the trees and paint? Has Teresa still 
a good place for her cheese-making? Does she not miss Panna 
Jósef a's or Mile Malet' s help with it? Shan't you see them soon? 
I could ask a thousand questions. I wonder are there any gaie- 
ties? When the Princess arrived I was in the country, near 
Enghien lake. It is difficult for me to stay in Paris now. The 
doctor orders me to Ems, but I don't know where or when I 
shall go. 

A few days ago Pani Zofia called on me one evening with 
Princess Zajączek, and asked affectionately after you. Did your 
ears burn? Pani Anatole was with the Platers yesterday; she 
complains a little of her nerves, but is getting fat, and Leosia is 
growing finely. She cannot forget Teresa's Guermange, and 
every time she sees my goddaughter (you must know that I 
have been a godfather here for a long time), every time she 
hears her, she always ends her ecstasies with Mademoiselle il. 

Did you like the pianoforte? 1 I do hope so! If not, please 
beat me, but don't be angry. 

Most affectionately 

F. Chopin 

My respects to Pan Wodzyński. To Panna Marja, Kazio, Teresa, 
the Felikses, in order. 

38 rue de la Chaussée d'Antin. 



86. 

To the Same. 

Paris, 14 August 1837. 

Most Gracious Lady! 

As I fear that someone else may tell you, wrongly, I prefer to 
forward to you Antos's letter of the 3rd inst., so that you may 
know from his own letter what he is doing. I did not tell you that 

1 At her request he had bought a piano for her in Paris, and sent it to Służew. 
[Op.] 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

he had been slightly wounded in the leg at Huesca, as that was 
about May, and I wished to tell it orally rather than by letter; 
but as that is now different, and as this midge may reach you 
as an enormous elephant, I enclose his last letter, in which he 
writes that the wound is now completely healed. It is also clear 
from the letter that he intends to return, and that on the three 
thousand francs which I received on the 9th inst. through the 
banker Leo, and sent on to Logronio, through Rothschild, on the 
day when I received Antos's letter; that is: the 10th. Many of 
ours are in Logronio, and, in particular, he will find there the 
good Woroniecki. He will brighten up more if you or Panna 
Mar ja would be so good as to send him a few words through me; 
for, as you will see, in this letter too he complains that no one 
writes to him from home, though I have always sent on news of 
you to him whenever I have had it. 

Your last letter reached me in London, where I spent last 
month dawdling about. I had thought of going from there to 
Germany through Holland — I came back here, as it is getting 
late, and in my room it will probably be altogether too late 
for me. 

I hope for a less sad letter from you than the last. Perhaps my 
next one will be only a postscript to one from Antoś. 

Most affectionately 

F. Chopin 

I send my respects to Pan Wodziński; and remind Panna 
Marja of her brother. To the Felikses, Kazio, Panna Józefa, 
Teresa. — Your acquaintances here are well, and doubtless are 
thinking neither of illness nor of sorrows. Pani Zofia was to 
have heard from Geneva of your being expected there. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

87. 

To JULJAN FONTANA. 1 

[Undated.] 

[Containing French words with Polish spelling; a nonsense 
letter.] 

Monsieur — 

Monsieur Fontana 

Cité Danton 3 [?] Confound it. 
I send you yesterday's ticket 
Nat. Comar. [?] 

If you like I will wait for you here at 8j; if not, write me a 
line to say where to wait. 

Your 
F. Ch. 

N.B. If you have an idea that they may ask you to play, drop 
it. Primo, I doubt that they will want to dance since the day be- 
fore yesterday (for I have seen them) ; secundo: I shall be there, 
also Jelowicki and Potocka — and you can enjoy yourself, un- 
less you harbour any sort of spleen in your head without a pe- 
ruke. After all, they don't fire off cannon at people in any draw- 
ing-room — also it is too early for you to get the doleful dumps, 
though you are 10 years older than I. 

Carry ammunition in your soul, but don't let anyone suspect 
it from your nose. 

88. 

To the Same. 
Paris, 1837. 

Please, if you can, copy out for me the A flat Prelude; I want 
to give it to Perthuis. He leaves tomorrow; and you when? If 
you want to see me, today between 8 and 9. 

1 Juljan Fontana, 1810-1870: Polish pianist and composer; Chopin's fellow- 
pupil in childhood and lifelong friend. He emigrated to France after the failure of 
the insurrection (1831), and after Chopin's death brought out many of his un- 
published compositions, including much immature work. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 



89. 



To the Same. 
Paris, 1837. 

I send you a stall for Musard ; but please don't sit down ; because 
it has been given me by acquaintances with whom I promised 
to go, and I can't. 

With love 

Fr. Ch. 

90. 

To the Same. 
Paris, 1837. 

Come this evening and bring me that Hungarian * by force. 
Freppa will sing, and we may hop a little. 

Catch Sadowski by the — ; 2 he has got to come. Go to the 
club and get General Skarżyński. 



91. 



To Wojciech Grzymała/ 
[Paris; undated.] 



My Dear, I urgently must see you, even if it is 12 or 1 in the 
night. Don't fear any worries for yourself, Dear. You know how 
much I always value your affection. It is a question of some ad- 
vice that I want. 

Your 

Ch. 

1 Liszt. 

2 Word suppressed by Hoesick, through whom this letter is known. 

3 Wojciech Grzymała: Polish journalist; b. 1793; Chopin's intimate friend. 
Settled in France after the failure of the insurrection, 1831. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 
92. 

To the Same. 
[Paris, 1837.] 

Well, but, when I can't?!!! 

I should cut my throat with this McDaniel razor that I brought 
for you, if I did not want to give it to you first. I have a musical 
dinner, and can't manage to wriggle out of it, eel as I am. 

I hug you like a boa. 

Ch. 



93. 

To the Same. 
[Paris; undated.] 

Something has happened to me (as the ladies say at home) ; 
I can't spend the evening with you because of a superboring 
strange dinner without even truffles. 

A hug. 

F. Ch. 



94. 

To the Same. 
[Paris; undated.] 

My Life! 

I am not taken by surprise, because yesterday I saw Mar, 1 
who told me she had arrived. I must sit like a stone till 5 o'clock, 
giving lessons (just finishing the second one). God knows what 
will come of it. I am really not well. I've called on you every 
day, to give you a hug. 

Let's dine together somewhere. 

Ch. 

1 Marliani? 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

95. 
To JULJAN FONTANA IN PARIS. 

[Palma, 19 November 1838.] 

My Dear. 

I am in Palma, among palms, cedars, cacti, olives, pomegran- 
ates, etc. Everything the Jardin des Plantes has in its green- 
houses. A sky like turquoise, a sea like lapis lazuli, mountains 
like emerald, air like heaven. Sun all day, and hot; everyone 
in summer clothing; at night guitars and singing for hours. 
Huge balconies with grape-vines overhead; Moorish walls. 
Everything looks towards Africa, as the town does. In short, a 
glorious life! Love me. Go to Pleyel; the piano has not yet come. 
How was it sent? You will soon receive some Preludes. I shall 
probably lodge in a wonderful monastery, the most beautiful 
situation in the world; sea, mountains, palms, a cemetery, a 
crusaders' church, ruined mosques, aged trees, thousand-year- 
old olives. Ah, my dear, I am coming alive a little — I am near 
to what is most beautiful. I am better — Give my parents let- 
ters and anything you have to send me to Grzymała; he knows 
the safest address. Embrace Jasio. How well he would recover 
here! Tell Pl[eyel] that he will soon get a manuscript. Don't 
talk much about me to the people I know. I will write you many 
things later — Say that I am returning after the winter. The 
post leaves here once a week. I write through the Consulate here. 
Send my letter to my parents, just as it is. Post it yourself. 

Your 

Ch. 
I'll write to Jasio later. 1 

1 Note in Fontana's hand: "Received 28 December, 1838." 



185 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



96. 



To the Same. 

Palma, 3 December 1838. 

My Jul jan ! 

I don't give notice at my lodging. I can't send you the manu- 
script, for it's not finished. I have been as sick as a dog these 
last two weeks; I caught cold in spite of 18 degrees of heat, 
roses, oranges, palms, figs and three most famous doctors of the 
island. One sniffed at what I spat up, the second tapped where 
I spat it from, the third poked about and listened how I spat it. 
One said I had died, 1 the second that I am dying, the 3rd that 
I shall die. And today I'm the same as ever; only I can't forgive 
Jasio for not giving me a consultation when I had an attack of 
bronchite aigue, which can always be expected in my case. I 
could scarcely keep them from bleeding me, and they put no 
setons or vesicators; but, grace to Providence, I am now as be- 
fore. But all this has affected the Preludes, and God knows 
when you will get them. I shall stay for a few days in the loveliest 
district in the world; sea, mountains, everything you want. I 
shall lodge in a huge, old, ruined monastery of Carthusians, 
whom Mend, has expelled, as if specially for me. It is near 
Palma, could not be lovelier; porches, the most poetic of ceme- 
teries; in a word, I shall be happy there. Only I still have no 
piano. I wrote to Pleyel; just rue de Rochechouard. Find out. 
Say that I was very unwell at first, but am all right again. 
Anyhow don't say much about me, or about the manuscripts. 
Write to me; I have not had one letter from you yet. Tell Leo 
that I have not yet sent the Prelude to Albrecht, that I love them 
very much and will write to them. Post my letter to my Par [ents] 
yourself at the Bourse, and write. I embrace Jasio. 

Don't tell people that I've been ill; or they'll make up a tale. 

1 "zdechnął" : croaked, kicked the bucket; used of animals. 



186 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
97. 

[No.] 

To Wojciech Grzymała in Paris. 
[Palma] 3 December [1838]. 

My Dear, send to Fontana the letter for my Parents. I cough and 
grunt, but I love you. We often speak of you. No letter from you 
as yet. This is a diabolical country, so far as post, people and 
comfort are concerned. The sky is as beautiful as your soul; the 
earth as black as my heart. I love you always. 

Ch. 



98. 

To Juljan Fontana in Paris. 
Palma, 14 December 1838. 

My Juljan. 

Not a word from you yet, and this is my 3rd note, if not the 
4th. Perhaps my people have not written? Perhaps some mis- 
fortune has happened there? Or are you lazy? No, you're not 
lazy, you're a good fellow. No doubt you have sent on my two 
letters to my people (both from Palma), and have written to me, 
and the post here, the most irregular one on earth, has not sent 
the letters — I heard only today that the piano was put on to a 
trading vessel in Marseilles on Dec. 1st. The letter has taken 
14 days from Marseilles. So I can hope that the piano will 
spend the winter in the dock, or at anchor (for here nothing 
moves but the rain), and that I shall receive it when I am start- 
ing back; which will be a great consolation, as, besides 500 
francs' duty, I shall have the pleasure of dispatching it back 
again. Meanwhile my manuscripts sleep, and I can't sleep ; only 
cough and, covered with poultices for a long time past, wait 
for the spring or for something else — Tomorrow I go to that 
wonderful monastery of Valdemosa, to write in the cell of some 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

old monk, who perhaps had more fire in his soul than I, and 
stifled it, stifled and extinguished it, because he had it in vain. 
I think I shall soon send you my Preludes and a Ballade. Go 
to Leo. Don't say that I'm ill; they'd get a thousandfold scare. 
And to Pleyel. 

Your 

Ch. 

99. 

To the Same. 

Palma, 28 Dec[ember] 1838. 

— or rather Valdemosa, a few miles away. It's a huge Carthusian 
monastery, stuck down between rocks and sea, where you may 
imagine me, without white gloves or haircurling, as pale as 
ever, in a cell with such doors as Paris never had for gates. 
The cell is the shape of a tall coffin, with an enormous dusty 
vaulting, a small window, outside the window orange-trees, 
palms and cypresses, opposite the window my bed on rollers 
[?] under a Moorish filigree rosette. Beside the bed is a square 
claque nitouchable for writing, which I can scarcely use, and 
on it (a great luxe 1 here) a leaden candlestick with a candle. 
Bach, my scrawls and (not my) waste paper — silence — you 
could scream — there would still be silence. Indeed, I write to 
you from a strange place. 

Three days ago I received your letter of the 9th, and, as it 
is a holiday, and the post will not leave till next week, I am 
writing to you at leisure; this I.O.U. which I am sending you 
will probably reach you in a Russian month. 2 Nature is a beau- 
tiful thing, but it's better to have no dealings with human beings. 
No roads, no post. I have come here many times from Palma, 
always with the same driver, always by a new way. The tor- 
rents make the roads, the avalanches keep them in repair; to- 
day you can't pass here, because it's been ploughed, tomorrow 
only mules can manage ; and what vehicles ! ! ! Therefore, my 

1 luxury. 

2 A Polish idiom: " Manana" ; " some time, never "; used particularly about the 
payments of debts. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Juljan, there is not a single Englishman, not even a consul. As 
for what people are saying about me, it doesn't matter. Leo is a 
Jew! I can't send you the preludes; they aren't finished; I'm 
better now, and will make haste; and I'll send the Jew a short 
open letter of thanks that will go down to his heels (let it go 
where you like on him). The rascal! And the day before I 
left I went to him, so that he shouldn't sçnd to me. Schlesinger is 
still more of a cur, to put my waltzes into an album ! ! and sell 
them to Probst, when I gave them to him for his collection for 
Gyc. But all these lice don't bite me so much now; Leo can be 
as furious as he pleases. I am only sorry for you; but in a 
month at the latest you will be free, both from Leo and from 
my landlord. Use Wessel's money if necessary. What are the 
servants doing? Give the porter 20 francs from me for New Year, 
when you get the money, and pay the fumiste x when he comes. 
I don't think I have left any important debts. In any case, I 
promise you, we shall be all clear within a month at most. To- 
night the moon is glorious; it has never been like this. But! But! 
You write that you forwarded a letter from my people; I never 
saw it, never had it. And I do need it so! Did you stamp it? 
How did you address it? Your letter is the only one that I have 
had yet; it was very badly addressed. Don't write Junto unless 
you have forgotten something, and that gentleman (en paren- 
thèse a perfect idiot) is called Riotord. I send you the best ad- 
dress [Crossed out; a postscript inserted:] No; I would rather 
you addressed as I did the piano. The piano has been waiting 
8 days in the port, according to the douane, 2 which wants a moun- 
tain of gold pieces for the piggish thing. Nature is benevolent 
here, but the people are thieves, because they never see stran- 
gers, and so don't know how much to demand. Oranges can be 
had for nothing, but a trouser button costs a fabulous sum. But 
all that is just a grain of sand, when one has this sky, this poetry 
that everything breathes here, this colouring of the most ex- 
quisite places, colour not yet faded by men's eyes. No one has 
yet scared away the eagles that soar every day above our heads! 
For Heaven's sake, write, always stamp your letters and add: 
"Palma de Mallorca" 

1 chimney-sweeper. 

2 custom-house. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I send you the I.O.U. and a letter for my people. I love Jasio 
and am sorry that he did not qualify completely for director 
of charity children somewhere in Nuremberg or Bamberg. Any- 
how let him write, that a man — 1 

I think this is the 3rd or 4th letter for my people that I am 
sending you. Embrace Albrecht, but don't say much. 



100. 

To the Same. 

[Undated; beginning 1839.] 

My Dear. 

I send you the Preludes. Copy them, you and Wolff; I think 
there are no errors. Give the copy to Probst, and the manuscript 
to Pleyel. Take Probst's money, for which I enclose a note and 
reçu, at once to Leo; I have no time to write him a letter of 
thanks; and from the money that Pleyel will give you, that is: 
fifteen hundred francs, you can pay the rent: 425 fr. to the New 
Year, and politely give up the lodging. If you can let it for 
March, do ; if not, I shall have to keep it for one more quarter. 
You can give the remaining thousand to Nougie from me. Find 
out his address from Jasio, but don't tell him anything about 
the money, or he'll be ready to burst in on Nougie, and I don't 
want anyone but you and me to know about this. If the lodging 
lets, give part of the furniture to Jasio, and part to Grzym. You 
can tell Pleyel to write through you. Before New Year I sent 
you an I.O.U. for Wessel. Tell Pleyel that I am quits with Wes- 
sel. In a few weeks you shall have a Ballade, a Polonaise and 
a Scherzo. Tell Pleyel that I have arranged with Probst about 
the time of publication of the Preludes. I have still not had one 
letter from my parents ! ! You must stamp the letters. But don't 
you know what has become of the first one? I embrace you. I 
live in a cell; sometimes I have Arab dances, African sun, 

1 Sentence unfinished. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Mediterranean sea. Embrace Albrecht and his wife; I will write 
to them. Don't say that I am giving up my lodging, except to 
Grzymała. I don't know, perhaps I won't come back till May or 
later. Give Pleyel the letter and preludes yourself. 
Write. 

Your 

F. 



101. 

To the Same. 

Marseilles, 7 March 1839. 

My Juljan, you have doubtless heard from Grzymała about 
my health and my manuscripts. Two months ago I sent you my 
preludes from Palma. From these (after copying them for 
Probst) you were to give Leo a thousand; and from the fifteen 
hundred that Pleyel was to give you for the preludes, I asked you 
to pay Nougie, and one quarter to the landlord. In the same let- 
ter, if I am not mistaken, I asked you to give up the lodging, 
which, unless it can be let for April, will have to be paid for till 
the next quarter day (I think till July) . You have probably used 
Wessel's money to pay the New Year quarter ; but if not, please 
use it for this quarter. The other manuscripts must, no doubt, 
have only now reached you, for they spent a long time at the 
custom-house, and on the sea, and again at the custom-house. 
Sending the preludes, I wrote to Pleyel that I will give him the 
ballade (which the German, Dr. Probst, has) for a thousand; 
for 2 Polonaises (for France, England and Germany, as the 
Probst engagement ends with the ballade) I have asked fifteen 
hundred. I think that is not too much. So, after receiving the other 
manuscripts, you should have two thousand five hundred, and 
from Probst five hundred for the ballade (or six hundred, I don't 
quite remember) , which, together, makes three thousand. I asked 
Grzymała to send me at least five hundred at once (which need 
not interfere with sending the rest on quickly). That's all about 
business. Now, if — which I doubt — the lodging is let by next 
month, share the furniture between you three: Grz. Jaś. and you. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Jaś. has more space, — though not more oil in his head, 1 to judge 
by the childish letter he has written me, thinking I am going 
to become a Carmelite. Give Jaś the most useful [household?] 
lumber. Don't bother Grzymała with much [?] ; 2 take what you 
want; I don't know whether I shall come back to Paris in the 
summer, so you keep it — for [ ? ] , 3 we will write to each 
other, and if my lodging has to be kept on till June, which is 
likely; please, even if you have another lodging of your own, 
stay in mine with one foot, for I shall come on you for the pay- 
ment of the last three months. In the second polonaise you have 
a sincere and truthful answer to your letter ; — it is not my 
fault that I am like that fungus which looks like a mushroom, 
but poisons those who pull it up and taste it, mistaking it for 
something else. I know that I have never been any use to any- 
one — but also not very much to myself. I told you that in the 
bureau, in the first drawer from the door, there is a roll, which 
either you, or Grz. or Jaś might open — now I beg you to take 
it out and burn it unread. Do this, I beg you, for our friendship ; 
that paper is no longer needed. If Antek goes away, and does 
not return me the money, it will be very Polish; i.e. Polish in 
the bad sense; all the same, don't mention it to him. See Pleyel; 
tell him I have not had a single word from him. That his little 
piano is in safety. Does he agree to the terms I wrote him? All 
three letters from home reached me at once, together with your 
letters, just before I boarded the ship. I send you one more* 
Thanks for the friendly help that you give to a feeble person. 
Embrace Jaś ; tell him that I am — or rather, that they were not 
allowed to bleed me, that I have vesicators, that I don't cough 
much, only in the morning; and that I am not yet regarded at 
all as a consumptive. I drink no coffee, nor wine — only milk; 
I keep warm and look like a girl. Send the money as soon as you 
can; communicate with Grzymała. 

Your 

Fr. 

I enclose 2 words for Antek. I'll write to Grzymała tomorrow. 

1 A Polish idiom: brains, commonsense. 

2 Word illegible; paper injured in several places. 

3 Illegible. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 
102. 

To the Same. 

{Undated. Marseilles, March 1839 .] 

My Dear: If they're such Jews, hold back everything, till 
I come. The Preludes are sold to Pleyel (I have received 500 
francs) — so I suppose he has the right to wipe the other side 
of his belly with them; but as for the Ballade and Polonaises, 
don't sell them, either to Schl. or to Probst. I will have nothing 
to do with any Schônbergers at any time. So, if you have given 
the Ballade to Probst — take it away, even if he would give a 
thousand ; tell him I asked you to await my return. That when I 
come, we will see. We have had enough of these fools, both you 
and I. I beg your pardon, my Life. You have dragged round 
like a real friend, and now you will also have my house-moving 
on your shoulders. Ask Grzymała to pay the moving-expenses. 
About the porter, he is certainly lying ; but who is going to prove 
it — you will have to give it to him, to avoid a row. Embrace 
Jaś; I'll write when I feel in a good humour; I am better, but 
I'm furious. — Tell Jaś that no doubt neither he nor I will get 
either a word or a penny out of Antek. 

Adieu ; I embrace you. 

Yesterday I got your letter, with Pleyel's and Jasia's. If 
you liked Clara Wieck, you were right; she plays — no one 
better. If you see her, greet her from me, and her Father too. I 
embrace you and Jaś. 

F. Chopin 



103. 

To the Same. 

[13 March 1839. From Marseilles.] 

Many thanks, my Life, for your running about. I did not ex- 
pect that Pleyel would Jew me; but, if so, please give him this 
letter. I think he won't cause you any trouble about the Ballade 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

and the Polonaise. But, in the opposite event, get 500 for the 
ballade from Probst, and then take it to Schlesinger. If I have 
got to deal with Jews, let it at least be Orthodox ones. Probst 
may swindle me even worse, for he's a sparrow whose tail you 
can't salt. Schlesinger has always cheated me ; but he has made 
a lot out of me, and won't want to refuse another profit; only be 
polite to him, because the Jew likes to pass for somebody. So, if 
Pleyel makes even the smallest difficulties, you will go to SchL, 
and tell him that I will give him the Ballade for France and Eng- 
land for 800 (he won't give a thousand), and the Polonaises for 
Germany, England, and France for 1500 (and if he won't give 
that, then for 1400, or 1300, or even 1200). If he begins to talk 
about Pleyel and the preludes (for Probst has doubtless told 
him about them), you will say that they were promised to Pleyel 
long ago, that he wanted to be their publisher and begged me, 
before I went away, to let him have them, which is really the 
case. You see, my Life: I might break with Schlesinger for 
Pleyel, but not for Probst. What good is it to me if Schlesinger 
makes Probst pay more for my manuscripts? If Probst pays more 
to Schlesinger, it is a proof that he has cheated me, paying less. 
Probst has no shop in Paris; all my things are printed at Schl. 
The Jew has always paid me, and Probst has often made me 
wait. You will have to arrange with Schlesinger that you give 
him the manuscripts on the day when he gives you the money ; if 
he won't give for both at once, then give the ballade separately 
and the polonaises separately; but not more than 2 weeks be- 
tween. If Schlesinger won't hear of this, only then go to Probst; 
but, as he is such an adorer of mine, don't drop on him, as you 
can on Pleyel. At the slightest difficulty, give Pleyel my letter. If, 
which I doubt, you have already given him the manuscript of the 
Ballade and Polonaises, take them away, for Schlesinger or 
Probst. The scoundrels ! — Good Lord, that Pleyel, who is such 
an adorer of mine! Perhaps he thinks I shan't come back to 
Paris? I shall come back, and shall pay a visit of thanks to 
him, and another to Leo. I enclose a card to Schlesinger, giving 
you authority. Antek's parents must have forgotten themselves 
strangely for such a thing to happen as has happened between 
him and me. Entendons nous; he did not return the money to 

194 



chopin's letters 

me before he left. A brainless and heartless fool! I am better 
with every day; all the same you had better pay the porter 
those 50 francs, which I entirely approve, for the doctor will 
not let me leave the south till the summer. I received the Dziady x 
yesterday. As for the glove man and the little tailor, they can 
wait, the idiots! What about my papers? You can leave the let- 
ters in the bureau, and take the music to Jas's place or your own. 
In the table in the vestibule there are also some letters; you 
need to lock it well. You can seal Schlesinger's letter with a 
wafer and Schlesinger too. 

Write often. Your 

Ch. 

Embrace Jaś. 



104. 

To the Same. 

[Marseilles'] 17 March 1839, Sunday. 

My Life. 

Thanks for all your trouble. Pleyel's a fool and Probst a ras- 
cal (he never gave me 1000 fr. for 3 manuscripts) . No doubt you 
have received my long letter about Schlesinger ; now I wish, and 
beg you, give my letter to Pleyel (who finds my manuscripts too 
dear) . If I have to sell them cheap, I would rather let it be to 
Schlesinger than search for impossible new connections. As 
Schlesinger can always count on England, and as I am quits with 
Wessel, let him sell them to whom he likes. The same with the 
Polonaises in Germany ; for Probst is a sly bird : I know him of 
old. Let Schlesinger sell to whom he likes, not necessarily to 
Probst. It's nothing to me. He adores me, because he's skinning 
me. Only have a clear understanding with him about the money, 
and don't give up the manuscripts except for cash. I will send 
Pleyel a reconnaissance. 2 The fool, can't he trust either me or 
you? Good Lord, why must one have dealings with scoundrels! 
That Pleyel, who told me that Schlesinger was underpaying me, 

1 The Ancestors; Mickiewicz's great dramatic poem. 

2 receipt. » 

195 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

and now finds 500 fr. too much for a manuscript for all coun- 
tries ! Well, I prefer to do business with a real Jew. And Probst 
is a rascal to pay me 300 for the mazurkas! Why, the last mazur- 
kas brought me 800 at the first jump: Probst 300, Schl. 400, 
Wess. 100. I would rather sell my manuscripts for nothing as in 
the old days, than have to bow and scrape to such fools. And I'd 
rather be humiliated by one Jew than by 3. So let's go to Schle- 
singer. I hope you have finished with Pleyel. Don't speak of the 
Scherzo to anyone. I don't know when I shall finish it, for I am 
still weak and not fit to write. Scoundrels, scoundrels, they and 
Mme Migneron! But perhaps Mme Migneron will yet be under 
your . . . When you come to make shoes for the cobbler, 1 
I beg you, make none for Pleyel or Probst : let them go barefoot. 
I don't know yet when I shall see you. Embrace Grzymała, and 
give him the furniture ; whichever things he wants, and let Jasio 
take the rest. I don't write to him; I've nothing to say. I still love 
him ; tell him that and embrace him. I'm still amazed *at Wod- 
ziński — When you get the money from Pleyel, pay the landlady 
first, and send me 500 at once. Embrace Grzymała and Jaś. 

Your 
Frycek 

I received your letter today. No letter from Pleyel. In Pleyel's 
receipt I left the Op. blank, because I don't know the number. 



105. 

To the Same. 

[Undated. Marseilles, March or April 1839.] 

My Dear. 

I am much better. I am beginning to play, eat, walk, and 
talk, like other folk; you see that I even write easily, since you 
again receive a few words from me. But about business again. 
I should very much like to have my preludes dedicated to 

1 a proverb. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Pleyel (there's probably still time, as they are not printed). 
And the Ballade to Mr. Robert Schuhmann [sic]. The Polo- 
naises to you, as they are. To Kessler nothing. If Pleyel does 
not want to give up the Ballades, then dedicate the preludes to 
Schuhmann. Gaszyński came to me from Aix yesterday; the 
only person I have received. My door is shut to all musical 
and literary amateurs. Tell Probst about the change of dedica- 
tion, as soon as you arrange with Pleyel. Embrace Jasio. Give 
Grzymała five hundred from the new money, and let him send 
me the remaining 2500. Don't go to sleep; love me and write. 
Forgive me if I burden you too much with commissions, but I 
honestly believe that you willingly do what I ask of you. 

Your 

Ch. 



106. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
Marseilles, 27 March [1839]. 

My Dear! 

I am much better, and can thank you more vigorously for 
sending the money. You know, I wonder at your goodwill; but 
also you have in me a grateful man at heart, though not on the 
outside. You are so kind as to accept my furniture ; please pay 
for the moving. I venture to ask this last, because I know it 
won't be a large sum. As for what is happening to my income, 
the Lord defend me! That idiot Pl[eyel] has made mincemeat x 
of my affairs; but it's difficult; you can't knock a wall down 
with your head. 

We shall meet in the summer, and I will tell you how glad 
of it I am. My lady has just finished a magnificent article on 
Goethe, Byron and Mickiewicz. One must read it; it gladdens the 
heart. I can see you, how pleased you will be. And all so true, 
so large in perception, on so huge a scale, of necessity, with- 
out manipulation or panegyrics. Let me know who translates 

1 Bigos; a Polish national dish. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

it. If Mic[kiewicz] himself should care to put his hand to it, 
she would gladly revise it; and what she has written could be 
printed as a discours préliminaire, together with the transla- 
tion. Everyone would read it, and one could get rid of many 
cop[ies]. She will write about it to you or to Mick[iewicz]. 

And what is yourself doing? May God give you good humour, 
health and strength; those are such necessary things. What do 
you say about Nourrit? It astonished us very much. We often 
take you for a walk. You wouldn't believe how happy we are 
in your company. Marseilles is ugly: an old, but not ancient 
place; it bores us rather. Next month we shall probably go to 
Avignon, and from there to Nohant. There, no doubt, we shall 
embrace you, not by letter, but whiskers and all, if your whisk- 
ers have not gone the way of my favoris. 

Kiss — not your — hands and feet. To you I sign myself, 
with undying highest sentiments: 

A real Camaldolite 

Ch. 



107. 

[In French] 

To M. Ernest Canut in Palma. 
Marseilles, 28 March 1839. 

Dear Sir! 

More than a month ago I received from Pleyel a letter about 
the piano. I have put off answering in the hope of hearing some 
news from you, and have only now replied to him that you 
have acquired the instrument for twelve hundred francs. 

As my health is quite restored, I am leaving Marseilles at 
once; and, as I do not go directly to Paris, I feel obliged to ask 
you, in order to avoid delay, to be so kind as to send the pay- 
ment to Paris, to M. C. Pleyel and Co., rue de Rochechouard, 
No. 20, who have been notified. 

Please accept the assurance of my distinguished regard. 

F. Chopin 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 
108. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
Marseilles, 12 April 1839. 

My Dear! 

Mar [Hani] wrote to us that you are still unwell and that 
your bloodletting did not help you much. We supposed here 
that you were quite well again, as it appeared from your yes- 
terday's letter; and today such a disappointment! Mar[liani] 
writes in the same letter that my mother is said to be coming 
to Paris, being frightened about me. I can scarcely believe it; 
however, I am writing a letter to my people (which please be 
kind enough to send to the post), to reassure them. It will be 
the third from Marseilles. If you have heard anything of this, 
write me a line. For my mother to leave my father would need 
something altogether extraordinary. He is out of health and 
needs her more than ever, I could not understand such a sepa- 
ration. My Angel is finishing a new novel: Gabriel. Today she 
is writing in bed all day. You know, you would love her even 
more if you knew her as I know her today. I can imagine how 
annoying it must be to you if you are not allowed out. Why 
can't I be here and with you at the same time! How I would 
look after you! I have been taught how to look after people! 
And you would enjoy being looked after by me, for you know 
my feeling towards you. I have never been of any use to you, 
but perhaps I should be able to nurse you now. It seems that 
our Genoa project is now changed. Probably we can meet and 
embrace about the middle of May, on her estate. May Heaven 
give you a quick recovery. I kiss the hands of you know whom. 

Your 

Fryc 

[Postscript by George Sand; then another by Chopin:] 
Send my letter by the Bourse post. That always arrives. 



199 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

109. 
To JULJAN FONTANA. 

[Marseilles, 25 April 1839.] 

My Dear. 

I have received your letter with details about the house-mov- 
ing. I cannot thank you enough for your really friendly help. 
The details interested me greatly, but I am angry because you 
complain and because Jasio is spitting blood. Yesterday I 
played the organ for Nourrit, 1 so I am better. I also sometimes 
play for myself, but have not yet begun to sing and dance. The 
news about my mother would be pleasant enough, but if it 
comes from Plat[er] it's a lie. The warm weather has really 
begun here and I shall doubtless leave Marseilles in May. But 
I shall remain in the south for some time yet, before seeing 
you all. We shall not hear anything of Antek in a hurry. Why 
would he write? Only to pay his debts; and that is not the 
custom in Poland. That is why Raciborski thinks so highly of 
you, that you have no Polish habits; n.b. you know, not those 
Polish habits that you know and that I understand. So you live 
at No. 26. Are you comfortable? On which floor and what do 
you pay? I am beginning to be interested in places near Paris, 
for I shall have to think of a lodging; but that is not till I come. 
Is Grzymała well? I wrote to him lately. From Pleyel I have 
had only the letter that he wrote through you a month or more 
ago. Write under the same name, but Rue et Hôtel Beauveau. 
Perhaps you don't understand about my playing for Nourrit. 
His body was escorted and goes to Paris. There was a funeral 
mass, and the family asked me to play, so I played during the 
elevation. Did Wieck play my étude well? Why could she not 
choose something better than just the least interesting of the 
études, — at least for those who do not know that it is on the 
black keys? 2 She had better have sat quiet. Otherwise I have 
nothing to write you, except to wish you happiness. Keep my 
manuscripts so that they may not chance to appear in print before 

1 For the funeral of the French tenor Nourrit. 

2 5th Étude, in G flat major. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

they are given. If the preludes are printed, it's a trick of Probst's. 
But 1 . . . All that when I come back ; then we shan't be pratzi- 
pratzu. 2 Germans, Jews, rascals, scoundrels, offal, dog-hangers, 
etc., etc. In short, you can finish the litany, for you know them 
now as well as I do. 

Your 

Ch. 
Thursday, 25 inst. 1839. 

Embrace Jasio and Grzymała if you see them. 



110. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
[Nohant] 2 June 1839. 

My Dear! 

Here we are after a week's travelling. We arrived very com- 
fortably. The village is beautiful: nightingales, skylarks; you 
are the only missing Bird. I hope it won't be the same way this 
year as two years ago. If only for a few minutes! Choose a 
moment when we are all well, and run down for a few days ; take 
pity on a fellow creature. Let us just embrace you, and in re- 
turn I'll give you pills and first-class milk. My pianoforte shall 
be at your service, and you shall lack nothing. 

Your 
Fryc 

Please have my letter posted at the Bourse. Write us a line, 
and if you have a letter from my folk, send it by Jasio. 

[Postscript by George Sand.] 

1 Asterisks substituted for words by Hoesick. 

2 "bras dessus, bras dessous": arm in arm; French as pronounced by German 
Jews. [Op.] 



201 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
111. 

To the Same. 

Nohant, Monday [1839]. 

My Dear. 

How are you? We here gather from your silence these last 
days, that nothing has gone wrong with you and that we shall 
soon embrace you. Please ask to have the letter to my folk 
posted. It's difficult for you, for I think Jasio is already in the 
country. Don't forget the thing I asked of you ; and besides that, 
bring the packet with the silver, which Mme Marliani was to 
entrust to you or to Arago. 1 

Don't curse us, for we bless you; and give me an honest 
Polish kiss. 

Your 
F. Ch. 

[Postscript by George Sand.] 



112. 
To the Same. 
[Nohant, 8 July 1839.] 

My Life! 

So: the post to Chateauroux; you arrive there the following 
afternoon. From there 2 \ hours by the diligence that goes to La 
Châtre ; you get out by this garden, round which the road goes. 
You give us a hearty hug, sit down at the table etc., etc. I 
know it's hard for you to leave Paris, and however much I want 
to see and rejoice in you I don't venture to insist; but the Lady 
of the House begins to feel sad, and really worries that she can't 
see you. Promises are pretties; 2 and I wouldn't be surprised [if 
they are not kept] ; all the same, perhaps you will do a kind 

1 Dominique-François Arago: 1786-1853. 

2 Obiecanka cacanka; a nursery phrase. 

202 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

deed, and come to see us. Mme d'Agoult's bed is waiting for 
you, if you prefer that, as well as two hearts which watch for 
you and watch, like a kite for rain. 

I am not well, and she is ailing; perhaps you will restore us 
by your presence. The weather is good. Really, come off in the 
morning, and the next day you will be with us. 
I embrace you heartily. Kiss her hands. 

Your 
F. Ch. 

Tell Jasio to give you 2 or 3 pairs of my boots from those 
left in the big wardrobe. Hearty thanks to you. 

[Postscript by George Sand, 1 then another postscript in 
Chopin's hand:] 

She won't let me read what she has written to you. C'est une 
indignité ! ! ! ! 



113. 
To the Same. 
[Undated; Nohant, 1839.] 

My Dear. 

The end of the month approaches, and so does your visit. We 
are as happy as children. Don't forget my shoes. Also tell Fon- 
tana to give you the Weber booklet of Pièces faciles for 4 hands. 
I strain my ears for your coming. Love us, kiss her hands, and 
take a kiss for yourself from me. 

Your 
Fryc 

If Fontana can't find it among my music, never mind. 
[Postscript by George Sand; then, in Chopin's hand:] 
Have the letter to the painter posted, and persuade Arago to 
come with you. 

1 In this postscript, George Sand tells Grzymała that she is afraid Chopin is 
bored at Nohant, being unused to solitude and the simple life; that she is pre- 
pared to make any sacrifice rather than see him devoured by melancholy. She asks 
G. to come without fail, and to observe Chopin's real state of mind. 

203 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

114. 
To JULJAN FONTANA. 

[Nohant] Thursday [August 1839]. 

My Dear! 

Thanks for the letter to Mr. Chopine. It begins: " Wiatrowo, 
near Węgrowec," and ends: " For you, as for the great master 
of Music and Composition, Alexander Moszczeński, Starosta 1 
of Brzesk." In the middle: "as a music-lover of 80 years old, 
I send you these two ancient mazurkas which resemble the 
themes of your variations." The mazurkas, as you may suppose, 
are respectable: — "ram didiridi, ram didiridi, ram didiridi, 
rajda "; in a postscript: " My granddaughter Alaxandrina " (as 
I love you, like that: Alaxandrina) " la ci darem in Gniezno 
[Gnesen] has played to the satisfaction of the Public at a bene- 
fit concert for emigrants. I, my sons, grandsons, granddaughters 
and particularly Alaxandrina plays on the pianoforte well, with 
great quickness. Wiatrowo near Węgrowec! " Some good old 
boy of the old Polish starostas (probably the sort that . . . from 
the bridge). The best thing in the letter is your address on the 
envelope, which I had forgotten, and without which I don't know 
whether I could have answered you so soon; and the worst is 
the death of Albrecht. You want to know when I am coming 
back? When the bad weather begins; I need fresh air. Jasio is 
gone; I don't know whether I asked you, if by any chance a 
letter from my parents should have come to his address in his 
absence, to send it on to me. Perhaps you thought of it, perhaps 
not; in any case, if a letter did come, I don't want it to be 
lost. But I had a letter from home lately, so they won't be 
writing just yet, and meanwhile, perhaps, the dear fellow 
may come home cured. Here I am writing a Sonata in B flat 
minor, containing the march that you know. There is an 
allegro, then a Scherzo E flat minor, the march and a short 
finale, perhaps 3 of my pages; the left hand in unison with 
the right, gossiping after the march. I have a new nocturne, 

1 Elder or head man of a village community. 

204 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



G major, which will go together with the G minor, if you 
remember: 




You know that I have 4 new mazurkas: one c minor, from 
Palma, 3 written here, b major, d flat major and c sharp minor; 
they seem to me good, as is always the case with younger chil- 
dren, when the parents are growing old. Having nothing to do, 
I am correcting the Paris edition of Bach; not only the en- 
graver's mistakes, but also the mistakes hallowed by those 
who are supposed to understand Bach (I have no pretensions 
to understand better, but I do think that sometimes I can guess). 
There, you see, I have boasted to you. Now, if Grzym. comes 
(which has been foretold by the cards), send me the 4-hand 
Weber. If you have it; and if not, then my last Ballade in manu- 
script, for I want to look at something. Also your copy of the last 
mazurkas (if you have them, for I don't know whether my po- 
liteness went the length of not forgetting about it) . Also tell me 
whether you took a waltz from me to Mile Eichthal (if not, it 
doesn't matter). Pleyel wrote to me that you are very obligeant, 
that you corrected the Preludes. You don't know what Wessel 
gave him for them (write me what he wrote to you before; it's 
well to know, for the future) ; also whether Probst has gone 
(probably) ; and when he comes back, if you know. My father 
writes to me that my old sonata has been issued by Haslinger 
and that the Germans are praising it. I have now, counting yours, 
6 manuscripts; they shall eat the devil before they shall get 
them for nothing. Pleyel has done me a bad turn with his self- 
sacrifice, for I have hurt the feelings of the Jew Schlesing[er]. 
But I hope it will be put right somehow. 

I love you always. Write. Your 

Fryc 

A propos of what you wrote me about Kalkbrenner, I wrote 
asking Pleyel to let me know whether he had been paid for the 
Palma piano; I didn't write about anything else, as you can 
see; I wrote because the French consul in Majorca, whom I 

205 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

know well, is to be changed, and if he had not been paid, the 
further negotiations would have been more difficult for me. 
Luckily he has been well and completely paid, as he wrote to 
me last week before leaving Belgium. I am not astonished at 
the various fables; you see, I knew that I was exposing myself 
to them. But all that will pass, and our tongues will rot, and 
our souls be unhurt. Don't forget my boots. Send 3 or 4 pairs 
by Grz[ymała], even if they are old; they will do excellently 
for morning wear in the country. Write me about yourself, as 
freely as I write to you. Tell me how you are housed. Do you 
eat at a club? etc. Wojciechowski writes, asking me to com- 
pose an Oratorio. I have answered, in a letter to my parents, why 
does he start a sugar refinery, instead of a Camaldolite or Do- 
minican monastery? The good Tytus still has the imagination 
of his school days, which does not prevent my still being as 
fond of him as at school. He has a boy, the second, who is to 
be called after me. I'm sorry for him. 



115. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
[Nohant, 20 September 1839.] 

My Dear. 

Please take a small apartment, or, if it is too late for that, a 
large one; so long as you get something. As for her apartment, 
she thinks it is too dear, and cannot be persuaded that it is 
better to pay more, rather than have a lot of lodgers in the 
house. Please don't go beyond her instructions; communicate 
with Bignas, so as not to have sole responsibility. 

I embrace you heartily; 

Please love me, without fail. 

Your 
F.C. 
I kiss her hands. 

206 



chopin's letters 

[A long postscript from George Sand, with details about lodg- 
ings for herself and for Chopin, to whom she refers as : " ton 
petit." * The apartment is to have south windows, and not to 
be too small, though he is trying to economize.] 



116. 

To JULJAN FONTANA. 

[Nohant] Saturday [Postmark: 21 September 1839]. 

My Dear. 

Take the apartment rue Tronchet, 5, only see Grzym[ała]; 
he may have taken something at the Embassy since my last 
letter. From your description I like it very much. If it is gone, 
give the preference to rue Lafitte, in spite of the stairs, which 
do not worry me. I should be sorry if some lodging had been 
already taken for me at the Embassy, and the Tronchet were 
free ; I would rather lose something than sit in a hole the winter 
through, with something better available. I would rather have 
even Lafitte. I embrace you. Do your best. When I see you, I 
will give you a hug for all your good deeds for me. You're a 
good fellow, and that's enough. I love you as of old, and I hug 
Jasio and Grzymała. 

Your 

G. 
More haste and write, my life. 

1 Your little one. 



207 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
117. 

To the Same. 

[On note paper with the initials G.S.] 

Wednesday [Nohant. Postmark: La Châtre, 26 September 
1839.] 

My Life. 

Many thanks for your good — not angelic but Polish — soul. 
Choose a paper like my old tourterelle Ł one, for both rooms ; 
but varnished and shiny, with a narrow dark green stripe for 
a border. For the vestibule something different, but good. If, 
however, there are any prettier and more fashionable papers, 
which you like and know that I shall also like, take them. I 
prefer them smooth, very plain and clean looking, rather than 
the common épicier type. That is why I like pearl colour; it is 
neither glaring nor common-looking. Thanks for the servant's 
room ; it is very necessary. Now about furniture ; it would be a 
splendid thing if you can manage it. As I love you, I did not 
dare to bother you about it, but since you are so kind, choose 
it and put it in. I will ask Grzym. to find the money for the 
moving; I will write about it myself. As for the bed and bureau, 
they will have to go to some furniture-polisher to be scoured. 
You can take the papers out of the bureau, and lock them up 
somewhere else. I don't need to tell you how to manage. Do 
whatever you like and think necessary. Whatever you do will 
be right. You have my fullest confidence. That's one thing; now 
the second: you ought to write to Wessel. (You did write about 
the preludes, did you not?) Write to him that I have 6 new 
manuscripts, for which I ask that he should pay me, now, 300 
francs each (how many pounds is that?). Write, and get an 
answer. (If you think he won't give it, write to me first.) Also 
write to me, whether Probst is in Paris. Also look round for 
a manservant. Perhaps you can find some decent, honest Pole? 
Tell Grzymała about it. Let him find his own food; not more 
than 80. I shall be in Paris at the end of October, not before. 

1 turtle-dove. 

208 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Keep that to yourself. Oh, the spring mattress of my bed needs 
repairing; not if it would be expensive. Have the chairs and 
everything well beaten. I don't need to tell you, for you know 
yourself. Embrace Jasio. My Life, I sometimes worry — I 
hope God will give him what he needs. But I hope he won't be 
cheated ; though, on the other hand — fiddle f addle, cuckoo. 
That's the greatest truth in the world! And as long as that is 
as it is, I shall always love you, as one honest man, and Jasio, 
as another. I embrace you both. Write soon. 

Your 
old Ch. with a longer nose than ever. 



118. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 

Sunday [Nohant, 29 September 1839], 

My Life! 

She is ill in bed; a stomach upset all night. She has just re- 
ceived a second letter; her play is accepted. 1 Buloz writes that 
he expects her about October 15th. But you write nothing about 
a lodging for her! She worries about it, and thinks you have 
so many occupations of your own that you have forgotten about 
her apartment. If Fontana can be helpful to you, either for the 
running about or by replacing you, make use of him. He is 
willing to do anything for me, and a very efficient Englishman 
at business. He's a good fellow; he has already found me a 
den. He is attending to my household stuff, and all I need ask 
of you is to pay the voiture for the moving. I'm sorry for your 
pocket; but it can't be helped, unless you want me to walk 
the streets, my first days in Paris. She is not writing to you; 
even an urgent letter to Bignas about the actors was written 
for her by Rollinat. The infernal tomatoes have made her ill. 
Your protege has been here, and the furniture is insured for 

1 The drama: Cosima, accepted by the Comédie Française. 

209 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

30,000. For heaven's sake, a lodging; and for heaven's sake 
don't curse my importunity. You are probably in the country 
with your better half. Kiss her hands, from a truly attached 
spitz. Embrace yourself too, and everybody all round. 

Yours till death 

F. Ch. 



119. 

To JULJAN FONTANA. 

Sunday [Nohant. Postmark: La Châtre. 1 Oct. 1839~\. 

My Dear, thank you for everything. You have no doubt fin- 
ished with the superintendent. Have the grey curtains, that 
were in my study by the piano, hung in the vestibule; and in 
the bedroom the ones that were in the bedroom before, only 
underneath them hang the pale muslin ones that were under 
the grey ones. I should like to have the wardrobe in the bed- 
room, if there is a good place for it, unless the living-room looks 
too bare between the windows. If the red sofa that stood in the 
dining-room can have white covers made of the same stuff as 
the chairs, it could be put in the drawing-room. But that will 
doubtless be difficult, as it would mean finding an ouvrière 1 
or tapisseur 2 who would wait till I arrive. Think it over and 
let me know. I am glad Domeradzki is getting married, for after 
the wedding he will probably give back my 80 francs. I wish 
Podczaski would marry too, and that Nakw[aska] would get a 
husband and Antoś a wife. Let that remain between you and 
me and this paper. Find me a manservant, and embrace Mme 
Leo (you will probably prefer the first commission, so if you 
carry it out, I will release you from the second ) . Write me about 
Probst; has he come? Don't forget Wessel. Tell Gutmann that 
I was glad he asked after me. If Moscheles is in Paris, order 
him an enema prepared by Cellini s from Neukomm's oratorios 

1 workwoman. 

2 upholsterer. 

3 Perhaps a reference to the "Benvenuto Cellini" overture of Berlioz, whose 
music Chopin disliked. [Op.] 

210 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

and Doehler's concerto. He will certainly go to the garderobę 
and produce some sort of Valentine! A savage idea, but you 
will admit its originality! You can give Jasio for lunch, from 
me, a sphinx's beard and a parrot's kidneys in tomato sauce 
sprinkled with eggs from the microscopic world. And you your- 
self can take a bath in an infusion of whales, to restore you 
after all my commissions; I give them to you because I know 
that you willingly do for me as much as your time permits; 
and I'll gladly do the same for you when you marry. About 
that I suppose I shall soon hear from Jasio. But don't marry 
Ożarowska, because she's reserved for me. Puff at Pani Plater 
from me, and sneeze at Panna Pauline. 

Your 
Ch. 

See Grzymała and arrange about the moving. I wrote to him 
that he, poor fellow, will have to pay the voiture. Thumb your 
nose at Oslawski, and deafen the muddled young Niemcewicz 
with Orda. 1 

Don't mention that to anyone; it's a secret. Answer quickly. 



120. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant. Postmark: La Châtre, 4 Oct. 1839.] 

My Dear. 

In 5, 6, or 7 days I shall be in Paris; and, for your head, 

for your neck, let me have paper and a bed, if not the rest. 

Have pity on me and see that it's done. I must hasten my journey, 

for George's presence is needed for His art; but this between 

ourselves. We decided today to travel the day after tomorrow; 

count two or three days for stopping over on the way; this is 

Thursday, so on Wednesday or Thursday next we shall meet. 

1 Napoleon Orda, 1807-1883; Polish composer and pianist. In 1838 he brought 
out in Paris an album of Polish compositions. 

211 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Besides the various commissions that I have given you, es- 
pecially in my last letter (the commission about her lodging, 
which shall be taken off your shoulders when we arrive, but till 
then for heaven's sake do your best) — besides all that, I forgot 
to ask you to order a hat for me from my Dupont in your street. 
He has my measure, and knows how light I need them. Let him 
give me this year's fashion, not exaggerated; I don't know how 
you dress now. Also go in, as you pass, to Dautremont, my 
tailor on the boulevard, and tell him to make me a pair of grey 
trousers at once. You can choose the shade of dark grey; winter 
trousers, good quality, without belt, smooth and stretchy. You're 
an Englishman, you know what I want. He will be pleased to 
hear that I am coming. Also a plain black velvet waistcoat, but 
with a tiny inconspicuous pattern, something very quiet and 
elegant. If he has nothing suitable, then a black stuff one, good 
and plain. I rely on you. Not very open; that's all. A man- 
servant, if you can; and if you can, get one cheaper than 80 
francs, for I have plunged too far; but if you have already got 
him, it's all right. I would rather pay 60. My dear Beloved, 
forgive me once more for bothering you, but I can't help it. 
In a few days we shall meet, and I shall embrace you for every- 
thing. I beg you in God's name, don't mention to Polonia that 
I am coming so soon, nor to the Jewess (Mme Leo) ; because 
for the first few days, perhaps, I shall be in Paris only for you, 
Grzym[ała] and Jasio. Embrace Jasio and Grzym. I'll write 
till the last day. I count on finding the apartment. 

Your 
Ch. 

Write to me all the time, 3 times a day, if you like, whether 
you have anything to say or not. I will write again before 
starting. I await a letter from you. The hat at once, so that it 
comes in a few days, and order the trousers at once, my Julis*. 



212 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

121. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant] 4 October [1839]. 

My Dear, 

You are a priceless creature. The apartment sounds splen- 
did; only why is it so cheap? Isn't there some very unpleasant 
but? I beg you for God's sake, don't lose time; go to M. Mar- 
delle, rue de Harpe No. 89, but at once; find out from him 
whether he has perhaps found something still better; if not, 
take him with you (he knows about you), go together, take 
Grzymała too if you can, and clinch it. N.B. It is essential that 
it should not face north ; weigh les conditions that I gave you in 
my last letter. If the apartment has la majorité, take it. Once 
more, is it all right, does it not smell bad, or is it not dirty, or 
are there not so many neighbours that you can't go to the privy 
alone? Is there not a cornet à piston in the house, or some such 
thing? Write by the outgoing courier, even if you accomplish 
nothing. Make a plan of the apartment. My comrade had a 
good presentiment that you would find something; and I like 
what you write of it, but for heaven's sake is it all right? Re- 
member that for her it can't be just anyhow. Think it all over, 
and make haste. The contract for a year; or, if not, for 3 years 
at the outside. Arrange it, and God be with you. Love me, and 
follow your own intuition. Think it over, and decide. 

Your 

Ch. 

Is the apartment like anybody's? Has Mardelle not a better 
one? But don't let him influence your judgment. 



213 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
122. 

To the Same. 

[Undated. Nohant, October 1839.1 

My Dear. 

From your description and Grzymala's, you must have found 
such an excellent apartment that we think you have a lucky 
hand; and therefore the man (he is a great man, for he is the 
porter of George's house) who will run about to look for an 
apartment for her, has orders, when he has found several, to 
go to you, so that you, with your elegant taste (you see how 
I praise you) can also look at what he has found and give 
your opinion. What is specially important for her is that it 
should be as private as possible: a small hôtel 1 for instance. 
Either in a courtyard, or adjoining a garden ; or, if there is no 
garden, a large court. N.B. not many tenants; elegant, not higher 
than the second floor. If there is a small corps de logi [sic] 2 or 
something in the style of the Perthuis, 3 but smaller; or, if it's 
on the street, then not a noisy street. In short, something really 
good, for her. If it is near to me, so much the better, but if not, 
that consideration need not deter you. I think there must be such 
small hôtels, in the new streets near the rue Clichy, Blanche, or 
Nôtre Dame de Lorette, etc., towards the rue des Martyrs. 
For the rest, I send you a list of streets, in which M. Mar- 
delle (porter of the Hôtel de Narbonne, rue de la Harpe, 
No. 89, which belongs to George) will search for rooms. If 
you could look about in our quarter as well, in your leisure 
hours, it would be excellent. Imagine, we both feel sure, I don't 
know why, that you will find something splendid, late as it is. 
Her price is 2000-2500, even a few hundred francs more if 
necessary, if there were anything splendid. Grzym. and Arago 
have promised to try, but for all Grzymala's efforts nothing 
good has yet been found. I wrote to Grzym. and asked him to 
make use of you in this affair for me, my Life. (I say for me, 
because it is as if for me.) I will write to him again today, 
telling him to ask your help and that you should employ your 

1 Detached private house of aristocratic family. 

2 corps de logis: an auxiliary building, detached from the main structure. 

3 Hôtel of the de Perthuis family. 

214 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

smell-out- itis 1 for me. She wants: 3 bedrooms, two of them 
together and the third shut off, for instance by the salon; next 
to the third one a light study for her. The other two bedrooms 
can be small; even the third not very large; then a salon, in 
proportion, and a dining-room. A fairly large kitchen, 2 rooms 
for servants and a cellar. Parquet floors of course, fresh, and 
if possible needing no repairs. But a small private house would 
be the best, or a separate wing in a courtyard, looking on to a 
garden. It must be quiet, private, no smithy near, no girls, etc., 
etc. You understand perfectly. Good stairs. Well exposed to 
sunlight, facing south (almost essential exposé au midi). Once 
more: it must (absolutely) have a 3rd bedroom, with a study, 
adjoining it and shut off from the other 2 bedrooms. And if 
possible, that bedroom or the study should have a separate 
entrance (this is not essential). No bad smells. Fairly high. No 
smoke; light, as attractive as possible; that is to say: a pleasant 
outlook, to a garden or a large courtyard ; garden by preference. 
There are many gardens in the faubourg St. G[ermain] ; also in 
the faubourg St. Honoré. Find it like lightning, by inspiration; 
something splendid, and near to me, in those new streets; and 
as soon as you have it, let me know at once. Don't dawdle — 
Or get hold of Grz., take him along with you; look, engage it, 
et que cela finisse. 2 I send you a list of streets and a stupid 
example of an apartment. If you find anything, and write, 
draw a plan; only if it's something good. But there won't be 
time to write, so you had better engage it, rather than lose it 
by being too late. I am writing to Grz. too, and to M. Mardelle 
(he's a decent man and not a fool; he wasn't always a porter) ; 
he has instructions to come to you if he finds anything. You 
search, on your side; and let it remain between ourselves. I 
embrace you. Jasio ditto. You will have our genuine gratitude 
if you find anything. 

F. Ch. 

So, if you find anything and have to sign the contract, don't 
take it for more than 3 years, if you can't get it for less. You 
know, she is quite convinced that you will find it. 

1 wachalitis: a nonsense word, from wąchać, to smell out. 

2 and let that finish it. 

215 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Tuesday. 

[According to Hoesick, Chopin added to this letter a separate 
card with the " stupid example," on which George Sand wrote 
in pencil a whole list of streets; among others rue Neuve St. 
George, rue de Londres, rue St. Lazare, rue de Clichy, rue 
Blanche, rue Pigalle, rue de la Tour d'Auvergne, rue Labruyère, 
rue Neuve Bréda et rue Bréda, rue Navarin, etc. — 32 in ail. 
To this list Chopin added: Nôtre Dame de Lorette; under " rue 
de Clichy " he added and underlined: " On the best side." In 
the margin, against a list of streets from the rue Tronchet to 
the rue St. Florentin, he adds: "or faubourg St. Honoré"; 
against another set of streets, from the rue de l'Université to 
the rue St. Dominique, he adds: " faubourg St. Germain." 

George Sand adds to the first set of streets: " On the best side. 
Perhaps you may hear of something. N.B. Engage from Octo- 
ber, that is from now. I beg you, in God's name, be diligent 
about it, my dear." 
Overleaf: 

" All to be small, and if possible a whole house. 



2 bedrooms; apart from them: 

1 bedroom and study 
Salon (small) 
Dining-room 
Kitchen (fairly large) 

2 Servant's rooms 
Cellar and Garden 



For instance: 



Street, or preferably garden. 



[] BEDROOM {] 



SALON 



[] BEDROOM [J BEDROOM 



DINING-ROOM 



CORRIDOR 



pas de voisinage; surtout 1 no smithy or anything of that sort."] 

1 No neighbours, especially. 

216 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
123. 

To Wojoiech Grzymała. 
[Nohant, 8 October 1839.] 

My Dear! 

We leave here Thursday morning without fail. The post 
horses are engaged, and on Friday about 5 we reach Paris. Go 
round to the messenger (M. Marliani). I have written to Juljan, 
dear fellow, that he should wait for me in my lodging. Thank 
you a million times for your today's letter, which explained 
things for her and decided her to choose the apartment in the 
rue Pigalle. She will write you a line. 

I embrace you, and kiss her hands. 

Your 

Ch. 



124. 

To Juljan Fontana. 

Monday [Nohant. Postmark: 9 Oct. 1839]. 

You are priceless! 
TAKE Pigalle, both houses, don't stop to ask. Hurry. Bar- 
gain if you can (taking both together), but if not, then take 
them for 2,500, and don't let it go, for it seems to us admira- 
ble; just splendid. She regards you as the best and most 
logical — and I add the most splenetic-angelic-Polish-souled of 
beloved friends. 

Your 
F. Ch. 

We start for certain in three days. Embrace Jasio and 
Grzyma. 



217 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
125. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant, apparently Tuesday, 10 October 1839.1 

My Life. 

The day after tomorrow, Thursday, we start at 5 in the 
morning, and at 3, four, or at latest 5, we will be at rue Tronchet 
No. 5. Please tell the people. I have written to Jasio today, to 
engage that servant for me and to tell him to wait for me from 
noon, in the rue Tronchet apartment. If you have time to run 
in about then, we can have the first embrace. You are a 
brick. Once more, my sincerest thanks and those of my com- 
rade, for Pigalle. Now I beg you, as I am short of trousers, 
ask the tailor to be sure to have the grey ones that you ordered 
for me (and the waistcoat if possible) ready on Friday morn- 
ing, so that I can change as soon as I arrive. Also tell him to 
bring them to the Tronchet and give them to Tineau (the valet), 
who no doubt will be already there. (The valet is called 
Tineau!!) The same with the hat from Dupont; and in return 
I will alter the second half of the Polonaise for you till I die ; 1 
perhaps yesterday's version won't please you either, though I 
cudgelled my brains over it for about 80 seconds. I have my 
manuscripts in order, properly annotated. There are six of them 
with your polonaises, not counting the 7th, an Impromptu, 2 which 
perhaps is poor; I don't know yet, it's too new (yes!). But I 
hope it's good ; not like Orda's 3 or Zimmermann's or Karsko- 
Kon's, or Sowinski's, 4 or a pig's, or some other animal's; be- 
cause, by my reckoning, it ought to bring me at least 800 
francs. Well, we'll see later. And, my dear, as you are so 
efficient a person, command that no black thoughts and choking 
cough shall come to me in the new lodging; wish that I may 
be kind, and wipe out for me, if you can, any past episodes. It 

1 Fontana had asked to have an alteration made in the middle section of the 
A major Polonaise, which is dedicated to him. [Op.] 

2 2nd Impromptu: F sharp minor. 

3 Or: "Orlowski's"? 

4 Puns on names: Koń: a horse; Sowiński, by elision, becomes Świński piggish, 
swinish. 

218 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

would be good if I could still have a few years of big, com- 
pleted work. You will place me under a big obligation if you 
can do that, and also if you yourself grow younger; or else if 
you can bring it about that we are not born. 

Your 

Old One 



126. 

To the Same. 
[Nohant] Thursday. 

My Dear: 

I send you 3 letters; 2 from Mme Marliani, the 3rd from 
Marliani himself. The letter to M. Salucas is very good. There 
is a daughter there, whom they advise to profit by you. I ex- 
pected a letter from Aguado [?] to M. Balguerie [?] but it 
has not come. The latter is a very rich local man. When it 
comes, I'll send it straight on. May God give you good luck. 1 

Your 
Ch. 
Write. 



127. 
[In French] 
To Messrs. Breitkopf and Hartel in Leipsic. 

Gentlemen! 

I have always had cause to be satisfied in my dealings with 
you; and feel that before severing our relations I owe you a 
direct explanation. M. Probst, through whose intermediary my 
affairs with you have been conducted, has just told me that he 
has written to you about my last manuscripts, and that, having re- 
ceived no reply, he believes himself authorized to refuse me the 
price of 500 francs each. It is a price below which I would give 

1 The reference is to Fontana's journey to Bordeaux. [Op. J 

219 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

up nothing. I have in my portfolio a long Sonata, a Scherzo, a 
Ballade, two Polonaises, 4 mazurkas, 2 Nocturnes, an Im- 
promptu. Be so kind, Gentlemen, as to reply by return courier 
how matters stand, in order that I may be able to come to a direct 
understanding with you. 

Yours truly, 

F. Chopin 
rue Tronchet, No. 5, Paris. 14 Dec. 1839. 



128. 

To JULJAN FONTANA IN BORDEAUX. 

I send you a letter from Wessel, doubtless about my old 
business. Troupenas has bought my 7 compositions, and will 
conduct business with Wessel direct, so don't you bother. What 
are you doing? How are you getting on? I cough, and do noth- 
ing. Liszt has arrived; he is going to London. Albrecht and 
Perthuis are well. We had the Easter festival in the club. Wo- 
dzyński is still dirty as to the body and clean as to the soul. I love 
you, but you know that I don't know how to write. Write if you 
have time. I hope all is well with you. 

Your 

Ch. 
Paris 23 inst. [April 1840.] 



129. 
[In French] 
To Mme Oury x in Paris. 

Dear Madam, 

How I thank you for your charming letter. You would have 
received a reply accompanied by a manuscript for Mr. Beale, 

1 Famous French pianist; 1806-1880. 

220 



chopin's letters 

if I had not promised my new compositions to Mr. Wessel. As 
for the little waltz which I had the pleasure of writing for you, 
I beg you to keep it for yourself. I do not wish it to be published. 

But what I should like is to hear it played by you, dear 
Madam, and to attend one of your elegant reunions, at which 
you so marvellously interpret such great authors as Mozart, 
Beethoven, and Hummel, the masters of all of us. The Hummel 
Adagio which I heard you play a few years ago in Paris at 
M. Erard's still sounds in my ears; and I assure you that, in spite 
of the great concerts here, there is little piano music which 
could make me forget the pleasure of having heard you that 
evening. 

Accept my respectful homage, dear Madam, and be so kind 
as to give my friendly greetings to M. Oury. 



130. 
[In French] 
To Breitkopf and Hartel in Leipsic. 

Gentlemen, 

As Sig. Paccini is publishing a waltz of mine in the " hundred- 
and-one " on the 30th inst., I think it best to send you a proof. 
I hope that the publication will encounter no difficulty; the 
price remaining in proportion to our last agreement. 

Accept, if you please, the expression of my distinguished 
regard. 

Fr. Chopin 
Paris, 18 June 1840. 



221 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
131. 

To Jozef Elsner in Warsaw. 
Paris, 24 July, 1840. 

Dearest Pan Elsner! 

I send you a few words from Schlesinger. 1 I won't make 
philosophical remarks about Jewry; but I must defend him a 
little, for it is true that great works, such as your Oratorio, cost 
a lot to publish, and do not sell, because, except the Conserva- 
toire, no other établissement performs such things. And the 
Conservatoire lives on old symphonies which it knows by 
heart; and the public is lucky if it sometimes gets a chance 
to hear a bit of Haendel or Bach. Haendel has only just begun 
to be appreciated last year, and even then only excerpts, not 
whole works. Thus, last winter a chorus from Judas Maccabeus 
was performed several times, also a chorus of Bach, I don't 
know which; but since I have been here, except Beethoven's 
Jesus on the Mount of Olives, which I have heard only once, 
no long great work has been given. Many novelties are tried 
through at the Conservatoire rehearsals; but there is such a 
spirit here that no one wants to perform any big works except 
those of the dead. Therefore we shall not hear at present either 
Mendelsohn [sic] or Schneider, or Spohr, or Neukomm, or 
you; and if Cherubini were not at the head he too would not 
be played. The Conservatoire sets the tone for greater music; 
therefore a publisher can count only on what the Conservatoire 
will bring in. And the Conservatoire has its own copyists. How 
I regret that I did not hear, in Petersburg, that work of yours 
which, I am convinced, stands higher than everything of the 
kind that has been written. You will doubtless have it printed 
in Germany; and I am convinced that somewhere in Cologne, 
Munich, Dusseldorf or Leipsic, where there are musical festivals 
every year, devoted only to such works, — somewhere on the 
Rhine I shall hear your masterpiece before long. Another coun- 

1 Schlesinger (the publisher) had explained to Chopin in very courteous terms, 
that he could not publish such a work as an Oratorio, because there was in France 
no public which would care to buy music of this kind. [Op.] 

222 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

try where such oratorios are frequently given and which has 
the necessary respect for such works, where a thousand singers 
can easily be got together for such a purpose, where Neukomm 
and Mendelsohn are better known than Adam or Halévy: 
England, will doubtless jump at your work. Perhaps, some 
day, in Birmingam [sic], in the hall specially built for such 
things, where a few years ago Neukomm had an enormous 
organ put: perhaps some day we may admire and rejoice in what 
now ravishes me even in thought. I await a few words from 
you, and embrace you from my heart, from my heart. 

Chopin 

My respects to Pani Elsner and Pani Nidecka. 

Orłowski is in Rouen, but if he were here, he would add his 
name. How many times we have thought of you, just à propos 
of the Conservatoire. How many times have we wished to hear, 
from that mass of skilful violinists, your Offertory: * Joseph 
(if I am not mistaken), in which the violins rush through the 
richest harmonies. If you have had it printed, please send it 
to me. I will take it to Habenek, and feel sure that he will have 
it tried through, as it is short and effective. Write me a few 
lines, please, please, please. 



132. 
[In French] 
To Breitkopf and Hartel in Leipsic. 

Gentlemen, 

Several months ago I received from you a letter in which you 
were so kind as to offer me your publications as in the past; but 
it contained no mention of a waltz, published in Paris by Pac- 
cini, which I had thought best to send to you some time before. 

As I now have several pieces for publication (among others 
a Concert Allegro, a Fantasia, etc.), I should be glad if, 

1 Probably a slip of the pen. 

223 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

before entering into negotiations with regard to these new things, 
you would have the goodness to answer me in a few words about 
this waltz, and to send me the price of my last compositions. 
Awaiting an answer shortly 

Yours truly 

Chopin 
5 rue Tronchet, Paris, 4 May 1841. 



133. 

To JULJAN FONTANA. 

[Nohant] 2 July 1841. 

My Dear. 

I send you a letter to Pleyel for Buchholtz, about whom my 
father wrote in his last letter. I am also writing to Pleyel that 
I have asked you to call on him about the loyer. 1 If it is De- 
cember with you, it is no better here; last night the wind up- 
rooted enormous trees. But it is St. Médard: that is 40 days 
end tomorrow, so there is hope for the weather. Talk of the 
weather, between us ! ! ! My Dear, my old Brother ; perhaps I 
may yet play in the dark for you again some day, as an apology, 
if you still want to listen to this kind of justification of me. I 
embrace you most heartily, my good Juljan. Write. 

Ch. 

Tell Jasio to write me a word, the good fellow. 

Sunday, in the night. 
1 rent. 



224 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
134. 

To the Same. 

[Postmark: 23 July 1841. Nohant.] 

My Dear! 

Please take this letter to Pleyel, and talk to him, to himself. 
I am writing about a better pianoforte, for mine is not good. 
Read his letter, and seal it. You can see from it that I am ask- 
ing you for an answer. Write to me at once when he can have 
it ready to send off, so that I can arrange things with the mes- 
senger from Châteauroux. I doubt his refusing or delaying. But 
if he should, don't hit him, only write to me. Once more I beg 
your pardon for the commission ; but it's not the last one, don't 
be afraid. 

Your 

Ch. 
Write. 

Wednesday. 



135. 

To the Same. 
[Undated.] 

My Dear, 

I send you a hundred fr. for various expenses. First of all, 
repay yourself for the charivari; pay the hire (that light), the 
house porter, the flower woman, who claims for six [bunches?]. 
Buy me some bon soin soap at Houbigand Chardin s in the faub. 
St. Honoré, 2 pairs of Swedish gloves (you'll find an old pair 
in the drawer for a measure), a bottle of patchouli, a bottle of 
bouquet de Chantilly. In the Palais Royal, in the gallery, on the 
theatre side, almost in the middle, is a big shop of galanterie (as 
they call it with us) ; it has two show windows with various little 
boxes, ornaments and trifles; shining, elegant and expensive. 

225 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Ask there whether they have one of those tiny ivory hands, 
for scratching your head. You must have seen such a toy more 
than once; a little hand, usually with bent fingers, white, set 
on a black rod. I think I saw one there; ask, and they will tell 
you. So find such a toy and send it to me, if it is not more than, 
for instance, 10, 15, 20 or even 30. Make Pleyel give you a 
copy of my Preludes, and take all my études from Schl [esinger] . 
If Suss has Dantan's little bust of me, buy 2 and have them 
well packed for travelling; if not, please go to Dantan, who 
lives at St. Lazare, the same place as Alkan (whom you may 
embrace if you see him), and ask if it is to be had, and where 
to get it (profit by the same occasion to remind him about my 
bronze one, which he was to have had cast). In the drawer 
you will find, at the top, a flat metal flask, sewn up in flannel, 
to put on the stomach with hot water, also the air cushion that 
I bought for the journey. Pack them up, and include Kastner 
(or rather, you have an emballeur ł opposite) ; have them made 
into a comparatively large parcel, well packed, and send them 
to me par Lafitte et Cayard, address as on letters. Please make 
haste. The rest of the money you can keep for other parcels. 
Don't pay Schlesinger, and don't wait for him if he hasn't got 
Kastner; but send without fail Cherubini's traité; I think it's 
du contrepoint 2 (I don't remember the title well). If he won't 
give you the Cherubini without the money, pay for it, because 
perhaps Cherubini may have issued it himself, and he may 
have it only on commission. In a few days I will write to Trou- 
penas through you. I embrace you; the post is just going. For- 
give me; but you will have the letter on Sunday. Send on 
Monday. 

Ch. 

1 packer. 

2 Cherubini's Treatise of Counterpoint and Fugue. 



226 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
136. 

To the Same. 
Sunday [Undated]. 

I send you the tarantella. Be kind and copy it; but first go to 
Schlesinger, or to Troupenas, and look at the Recueil of Ros- 
sini's songs, or rather songs edited by him, in which there is a 
Tarantella (in la) ; I don't know whether it is written in -§■ or 
in J^-. People write both ways; but I should like it to be the 
way Rossini has it. So if it's ^ or however it is, with triplets. 
In copying, make one measure of two. You understand, dear. 
It will be 



i 



m 



I also beg you, instead of repetition signs, write it all out. Be 
quick, and give it to Leo with my letter to Schubert. You know 
that he leaves Hamburg before the 8th of the next month, and I 
don't want to lose 500 fr. As for Troupenas, you have time. 
And if my manuscript is not metrically right, don't give it 
to him, but copy it out again, and also make a 3rd copy for 
Wessel. It's a bore for you to copy the beastly thing, but I do 
hope that it will be a long time before I write anything worse. 
So, please, look at the number of the last work; that is, the 
number of the last mazurkas, or perhaps the waltz, that Paccini 
brought out, and give the tarantella the next number. I'm not 
anxious, for I know that you are both willing and efficient. I 
hope you will never get another letter from me so crammed 
with commissions as this. If it weren't for my having been 
obliged to have only one foot in the house before I left, you 
would not have this nuisance. It's still not the end. Charles 
forgot the metal hot-water flask sewn up in flannel, to lay on 
the stomach. It looks like this. 

[a drawing] 
227 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

If you can find it in the drawer, please send it. Also buy me 
Witwicki; 1 I haven't got it. And go to the Palais Royal, the 
gallery on the theatre side, No. 37 (I think), and buy me a 
blouse en toile ceru [ciré?] for 14 fr.: blouse de chasse fermé 
par devant, forme de chemise. 2 If it's not 37, then 47 or 27. 

The shop is like this: 

[a drawing with indications: gallery, entrance, corridor, etc.] 

He is the only one who has these blouses. I bought one from 
him a week ago: small mother-of-pearl buttons, well made, 
two breast-pockets, etc. Never mind it, Dear — I have thought 
it over. If I need it I'll write to you. So just attend to the 
tarantella, and give it to Leo. Tell Leo to keep the money he 
receives, till my return. I beg your forgiveness once more for 
my importunity. Today I received the letter from my people, 
that you forwarded. Tell the porter to give all my letters to 
you. Don't forget me. 

Your 

Ch. 

[The last paragraph is crossed out.] 



137. 

To the Same. 
[ Undated. ] 

My Dear. 

Since you are so kind, be kind to the end. Go to the roulage; 3 
that is: Messrs. Hamberg and Levistal, successors to M. Corret 
fils aine et C-nie: Rue des Marais St. Martin, Nr. 51, à Paris, and 
ask them to send at once to Pleyel's for the pianoforte, so that 
it may be sent off the next day. Tell the roulage people that 
it must go par un envoyé accéléré et non ordinaire. 4 It costs 

1 Evenings of a Pilgrim: Vol. I. [Hoes.] 

2 Of oiled cloth; a hunter's blouse, closed in front, shaped like a shirt. 

3 transport. 

4 by express, not freight. 

228 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

more, but will be much quicker. The cost will probably be 5 
fr. the centner. I will pay here, and you only ask for a receipt, 
or bill stating how much it weighs, and when it is to leave, and 
how soon they undertake that it shall arrive in Châteauroux. 
This roulage goes straight to Toulouse, and only drops things 
on the way; so the address on the Pleyel piano must be not 
à la Châtre, but Mme Dudevant à Châteauroux (as above). The 
corresponding firm in Châteauroux knows about it and will send 
it on to me at once. I need the bill only in order to tie down the 
roulage people; they don't need to send it to me, because it 
is only in case of needing it if some complaint should arise. The 
correspondent here in Châteauroux says that par accéléré it 
should arrive in 4 days from Paris. So make them promise to 
deliver it in Châteauroux in 4 or 5 days. Tell them to address 
à Châteauroux (and tell Pleyel that I will write to thank him in 
a few days). Take the revers for the accéléré from Hamberg 
and Levistal. Make haste and write me a few good words. Now 
about our business. If Pleyel does not please you and you 
think Erard would be better, change; but don't do it lightly; 
satisfy yourself first that Erard will really be more obliging. 
I don't see why you should be tied to Pleyel if the other is more 
serviceable ; selon toutes les probabilités x they ought to be courte- 
ous to you there. As for the Tarantella, seal the letter and 
send it to Hamburg. 

I am afraid to make this letter too late, so I will write to- 
morrow about the other matters, Troupenas and so on; for 
now, I embrace you. 

Ch. 

Thank Antoś for his good wishes. But I will not trouble him 
with any commissions. Wish him a pleasant journey. Embrace 
Jasio and tell him to write. 

Tell Pleyel I will write to thank him. Address the piano: 
Mme Dudevant, à Châteauroux; bureau restant chez 2 M. Voilant 
Patureau. 

1 in all probability. 

2 At the office of. 



229 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



138. 



To the Same. 

[Nohant. Postmark: La Châtre, 11 August 1841.] 

My Dear! 

Thanks for all your good commissions. Today, the 9th, I 
received the pianoforte, and the other things two days ago. 
Don't send my little bust home; they would be frightened; 
just leave it in the drawer. Embrace Jasio for his letter. I will 
write him a few words shortly. Tomorrow I shall probably 
send away my old manservant, who loses his head here. He is 
an honest fellow and knows his work, but grumbles and upsets 
the people here. I shall probably send him oil and tell him to 
wait for me in Paris. So if he turns up in your house, don't be 
scared ; the only way to get rid of him is to tell him to wait for 
me at home, and then in a week or two write to him, either that 
I am coming back later than I expected, or some other thing, 
and cross his palm for the journey. Here we have fairly good 
weather. The man waited 3 days in Châteauroux for the piano- 
forte; I recalled him yesterday, on receiving your letter. What 
sort of voice the pianoforte has, I don't know yet, as it is not 
unpacked. The great event is to be tomorrow. As for inquiries 
about the roulage, don't bother; it's not worth quarrelling over. 
You did the best you could; a few drops of one's blood gone 
sour and a few days wasted on waiting are worth no more than 
just to blow one's nose as soon as the business is over. So forget 
both my commission and your trouble. Next time, God willing, 
it will go better. I am writing these few lines late at night. I 
thank you once more for all you have done ; but it won't be the 
end, for now we shall have the Troupenas affair on our shoul- 
ders. About that I will write you more fully later, but now I 
wish you goodnight; and don't dream, as Jasio did, that I have 
died. Just dream that I'm being born, or something like that — 
Indeed, I am now becoming as meek as a baby in swaddling- 
clothes; and if somebody wanted to hold me in leading strings 
I should be quite pleased ; N.B. : with a well wadded cap on my 

230 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

noddle, because — I feel it — I should stumble and fall over 
every minute. Unfortunately what awaits me seems to be not 
leading strings but a staff, or crutches, if I reach old age at my 
present pace. I once dreamed that I had died in a hospital ; and 
it stuck so fast in my head that it seems to me like yesterday. 
If you outlive me, you will know whether to believe in dreams ; 
a few years ago I dreamed of other things, but my dreams did 
not come true. And now I dream awake; dream and wake up 
scorched, 1 as they say; which is why I write you such rubbish. 
Isn't that so? Send me a letter from home soon, and love your 
old. 

Ch. 



139. 

[From French into Polish] 

To Camille Pleyel. 
[Nohant, 1841?] 

My very dear Friend, 

A few days ago I received your pianoforte, for which I thank 
you most warmly. The instrument arrived in good tune, almost 
in chamber-concert tune. But I have not yet played on it much, 
as the weather is so fine that I am out of doors nearly all the 
time. 

I wish you as good weather for your vacation. Write me a 
few lines (unless you think you have used your pen often 
enough during the day). I hope you will all keep in health, 
and I lay my homage at the feet of your Mother and Sister. 

Faithfully yours, 

F. Chopin 

1 szałki-opałki; from the words: szał: extasy or exaltation, and opalić sie: to get 
scorched. 



231 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



140. 



To JULJAN FONTANA. 

[Undated.] 

My Dear, 

My poor man has really gone today. He is starting, and will 
probably reach home; that is, reach you, together with this let- 
ter. If he has any things in the house, give them to him, or let 
him take them. He is paid right up, so he can make no claims. 
But please, I should not like to risk his living in the house. He 
is friends with the porter, who perhaps would permit it. And, 
please, I have nothing more to do with him, and don't you take 
him for any money, for he will cost you more than he is worth. 
Yesterday I wrote you a letter in the night, and now am writing 
this second warning that I have quite, quite dismissed him. So 
don't let him manage to stay in the house. 

Your 
Ch. 



141. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant. Postmark: 16 August 1841. La Châtre.] 

My Dear. 

Thanks for your kind letter. Open any letters that you con- 
sider necessary. Don't give the manuscript to Troupenas till 
Schubert writes the date of publication. No doubt there will 
soon be an answer through Leo. It's a pity that the Tarantella 
went to Berlin; for, as you saw from Schubert's letter, Liszt is 
involved in these money affairs, and I may have unpleasantness 
about it. He is a touchy Hungarian and ready to think — as I 
said the manuscript was not to be given up without the money — 
ready to think that I don't trust him, or something of that sort. 
I don't know just what, but I have a presentiment that we shall 
have a pie. 1 Don't tell Leo anything about it, he's ill; go to him 

1 A Polish idiom: "a pretty kettle of fish." 

232 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

if you have a chance and remember me to him; thank him 
(though it is for nothing), and apologize for his trouble; it 
was, after all, a courtesy on his part to undertake the consign- 
ment. Also remember me to Pleyel, whom you will see when 
Portales sends you the domiciliary paper (as you know, you 
and Pleyel). Tell him to forgive me for not writing to him 
(don't tell him that he has sent me a very bad pianoforte). 
Your milkwoman is the épicier 1 in the rue Castellane, opposite 
the market. He sells milk every morning. Please post the letter 
to my parents yourself, but only yourself, at the bourse before 4. 
Forgive me for bothering you so much, but you know how 
much my letters to my people mean to me. Escudier will doubt- 
less send you that fine Album. If you like, you can tell Troupenas 
to tell Escudier from me that he can send you a copy for me; 
but if you don't want it, don't bother. One more worry: at your 
leisure, copy that wretched Tarantella once more, to send to 
Wessel as soon as we know the day. If I worry you so much 
with this Tarantella, believe me, it is for the last time. I shall 
probably not send you any manuscript from here. If there is 
no communication from Schubert within a week, write to me, 
please, but don't importune Leo about me. In that case you 
could give the manuscript to Troupenas. But I will write to him 
about it. Meanwhile I embrace you heartily. 

Your 

Ch. 

Write, whenever you have a free moment. 
Wednesday, in the night. 



142. 

To the Same. 

[Undated] Friday, in the night. 

My Dear. 

Well then, I send you a letter to Bonnot; read, seal, and de- 
liver it; and if, in passing through the streets that (you know 

1 grocer. 

233 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

of old) are possible for me, you should find something suitable, 
please let me know. The condition about stairs does not exist 
any more. I send you a letter to Dessauer, which has come to 
me here, in a letter of Frau Diller, from Austria. Did you send 
it on? I did not recognize your hand. It came today. Enough 
about that. Dessauer must be back in Paris by now. Ask Schl. ; 
he is sure to know. Charles has doubtless returned. Don't give 
Dessauer many details about me; don't even tell him that you 
are searching for a lodging; not even to Antoś, because he will 
tell Mlle de Rozières, and she starts gossip and tales about 
everything, that even come round to me here in the queerest 
way — You know how easily things grow out of nothing, when 
they pass through a mouth that smears them all over and makes 
something else out of them — I don't want to say much; but 
some of the most innocent things that I have written to you 
have come de retro to me that way. I am not writing to Jaś. but 
tell him that I will. What you tell me about Poland seems to me 
ludicrous; may God grant it, but I don't think so. About that 
unhappy Tarantella, you have doubtless given it to Troupenas 
(which means Masset) ; and, if you think well, send it to Wessel 
by post. Tell him to let you know at once when he receives it 
(and if Schubert has not answered, write him a word, so that 
he should let us know at once, and inform Wessel). You [have] 
to write a lot of letters, but perhaps it amuses you? Here the 
weather has been beautiful for several days, but as for my 
music, that's ugly. Mme Viardot was here for 15 days; we 
didn't do so much of music as of other things. Please write to 
me; anything you like, but write. I hope Jasio will get well. But, 
but! Don't forget to put on Troupenas's copy: — Hamburg, 
chez Schubert; London, Wessel; and the same on Wessel's copy. 
In a few days I will send you a letter to Mechetti in Vienna, to 
whom I promised something. If you see Dessauer or Schlesinger, 
ask whether a letter to Vienna ought to be prepaid. I embrace 
you. Keep well. 



234 



chopin's letters 



143. 



To the Same. 

[Undated. Postmark: La Châtre, 25 August 1841.1 

Tuesday. 

My Dear. 

I have received your letter, in which you tell me about 
Troupenas. Thank you. 300 was owing. Also thank you for 
Albrecht. No doubt you already have my letter to Bonnot. No 
doubt you already know whether letters to Vienna should be 
prepaid. But if Dessauer has arrived, consult him, before post- 
ing my letter to Mechetti. It's a money matter, so I should 
not like the letter to get lost somewhere in Austria; for you 
know how I love writing. Offer him a new manuscript (a kind 
of polonaise, but it's more a fantasia). That's one thing. Now 
the next. Go to Roth with the letter, which you can read and 
seal. He lives in the rue Neuve des Mathurins (close to you), 
in one of the new houses near the rue Montblanc. You know 
on the left, going from you, the house with the fine gate, where 
you can drive in sideways, No. 6 or 10. Now, Doctor Roth lives 
in the entresol, the first vestibule from the gate. If he says he 
can procure the Tokay for me, find out at what price and let 
me know at once. I will send you the money, and instructions, 
how to send the Tokay to Marseilles. You are both practical 
and kind; that is why I load you with commissions. Up till 
now you have done everything beautifully for me. There is 
only one thing, in your today's letter, which is really unpleasant 
for me (but you could not guess that!!) ; it is: that you gave 
my little bust to Antek. Not that I mind his having it; not 
that I need it, or value it (you don't even need to order another 
from Dantan) ; but because, if Antoś took it to Poznań, the 
gossip will start again, and I have had too much of it already. 
If I did not charge Antoś with any commissions, it was just on 
that account; for what better opportunity could one have? But, 
you see, Antoś did not understand! ! ! Perhaps you will under- 
stand ! It will seem so strange to my Parents, that not they should 

235 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

be the first to have this plaster. They won't believe that I did 
not give it to him. In Antek's home I hold another place than 
that of pianist. 1 Certain persons will see it differently. You 
know them! All this will come retro to me with another colour. 
These are very delicate matters that are better not touched 
upon. Well, it has happened. I beg you, Dear, don't mention to 
anyone what I have written here; let it remain between us. If 
I have not glossed it over, it is because you will understand. 
Don't reproach yourself about it. Love me, and write. If Antek 
has not yet started, please leave the matter as it is; it could 
only be made worse; he would tell Mlle de Roz[ières] all 
about it, for he is well meaning, but weak! And she is loose- 
tongued and loves to display her intimité with him and to pry 
into other people's affairs; she would smear it all up and make 
an ox out of nothing, 2 not for the first time. She is (between 
ourselves) an insufferable pig, who has dug her way in some 
queer fashion into my private garden, and is rooting about for 
truffles among the roses. She is a person to keep away from. 
Whatever she touches feels her incredible indiscretion. Ask the 
good Charles how long ago he came to me, and tell him I will 
willingly give him a testimonial. Say a kind word to him. I'll 
write to Jasio. Embrace him. Love me. 

Your 

Ch. 



144. 

To the Same. 
[Undated.] 

My Dear. 

Thank you for arranging with Roth; but 200 bottles are too 
much for me. I am sorry you have had the trouble, and I send a 
testimonial for Charles, whose name is Louis. No doubt you 

1 He had formerly been engaged to Anton Wodzinski's sister, Marja. 

2 A proverb; make a mountain out of a molehill. 

236 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

already have an answer from Hamburg. If you send to Wessel, 
ask him, at the same time, whether he wants a new Polonaise; 
the one that I am sending to Vienna. Write me a line, and let 
me know what Jasio is doing. I will write to him. Tell him to 
write to me, too. Embrace Albrecht and Leo if you see them, 
also Alkan. 

Your 

Ch. 
Wednesday. 



145. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant, 13 September 1841. ,] 

My Dear. 

I have received all your letters and Dessauer's parcel. Hass- 
linger is a scoundrel. He wants to print, or rather he has 
printed, and wants to publish, the things that I gave him for 
nothing in Vienna 12 years ago. What do you think of that? 
I shall not answer him, unless I write a sharp letter; and if I 
do send it, I shall leave it unsealed for you to read. As for 
Dessauer's illusion about Mechetti, the other Viennese pub- 
lisher, I have had a letter from Frâulein Miller, who tells me 
that he did not want to give Mendelson anything for a thing for 
that same Album, for which I offered him the Polonaise. Liszt's 
article on the concert for Cologne cathedral greatly amused me. 
And 15,000 persons, counted, and the president, and the vice- 
president, and the secretary of the phil [harmonic] society, and 
that carriage (you know what the cabs there are like), and 
that harbour, and that steamboat! He will live to be a deputy 
or perhaps even a king, in Abyssinia or on the Congo; but as for 
the themes of his compositions, they will repose in the news- 
papers, together with those two volumes of German poetry. 
Schlesinger's medal with the Queen's portrait, I swear, is a 
guinea. As for Antek, I am convinced that his illness is exagger- 
ated. When he wrote to me, it was too late, because his Dame 

237 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Partlett * at once wrote an emotional, frantic letter to the Lady 
of the House; that she is going to him; that she is defying the 
conventions, — those dear conventions ! — that his family are 
worthless, savage barbarians ! — that the only exception is 
Nakw[aska], in whom she has found a friend, and who is giv- 
ing her the passport of her governess, so that she may rush to 
save him; that she has to write so briefly (3 full pages), because 
she does not know whether he is alive; that she expected this 
after the terrible parting and the nights that he has spent in 
tears; etc., etc. She needs a cudgel! A cudgel! The old frump! 
What makes me most furious is that I love Antek, and not 
only can't help him, but have the appearance of lending a 
hand in all this. I perceived it too late; and, not seeing what 
was going on, and not knowing the lady, I recommended this 
broomstick to Mme Sand as a pianoforte teacher for her daugh- 
ter. She has wormed her way in, representing herself as the 
victim of her love; and knowing my past affairs through Polo- 
nia, which she has seen in various situations, she is forcing 
herself into the intimité of Mme S [and] (and you would not 
believe how cleverly, how sly she is, and how skilfully she has 
taken advantage of my relations with Antoś) . You may imagine, 
how nice for me; especially since (as you have perhaps ob- 
served) Antek does not care for her, except just as a person 
who contributes for him and costs him nothing. Antoś, with 
all his good nature, is apathetic, and allows himself to be led 
by the nose, especially by such a cunning intriguer, who, you 
may suppose, has an appetite for him. She makes use of him 
to defend herself, and, par ricochet, of me too (which matters 
less) ; and, worst of all, of Mme Sand. She thinks that, because 
Antek and I have been intimes from our childhood, we must — 
[several words crossed out, and dashes inserted.] That's enough, 
isn't it? ! Now to less unsavoury things. I have lost a bet: a Strass- 
burg pie — I send you 50 francs. Please go to Chevet in the 
Palais Royal, and buy one for 30 fr. It has to be a big one. 
They come from Strassburg in round wooden boxes. Address to 
me, and send it by diligence as quickly as possible. If the 30 
[fr.] size is small, then give 35 or 40. But let it be a generous 

1 Mlle de Rozières 

238 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

one. It annoys me to be obliged to spend so much money on a 
pie, especially when I need it for other things. Give my letter 
to the German editor. Embrace Jasio. Send me a description of 
the apartment on the 1st floor, with the number and details: are 
there stairs? Does one have to enter near the stable? Does one 
have to get tired going in? Is the lieu 1 on the street? Is it high? 
Does it smoke? Is it dark? etc. I should like to be some- 
where in the Montblanc or Mathurins, or on the boulevard near 
the Chaussée a" Antin. Keep out enough from the 50 fr. to con- 
tinue the Charivari subscription, which, I think, ends in a few 
days. Write to me soon. Shall we ever get back to our own 
land!! Have they gone quite mad?! I'm not afraid about Mick- 
[iewicz] and Sob[ański]; they're solid heads, they can stand 
exile, they won't lose either their senses or their energy. May 
God repay you for your good friendship. Write, and love an 
old man, as he loves you, old Englishman. 

Ch. 

Sunday. Tell Jaś to write to me. 

I am not sending you the letter to Leipsic today. 



146. 

To the Same. 

[La Châtre, 15 September 1841, ,] 

3 in the night; stars. 

My Dear. 

Send this letter to Germany. Post it at the bourse. This morning 
I received your letter and Fraulein Miiller's. She writes to me 
about the manuscripts for Mechetti. Please describe to me also 
the apartment in the Place Vendôme. Stairs? Is it an attic? Em- 
brace Albrecht; I'm very sorry for the good fellow. Also write 
to me, to whom does the next house belong? To Tamburini? Send 
a large pie. At the end of this month I will send you my own 

1 place. 

239 



chopin's letters 



pies from my own smoky kitchen. The kitchen needs white- 
washing, but lime has disappeared from the district. For any 
other scullion a white kitchen, for me a smoky one. Love me, 
if you don't find it too hard. I embrace you, my Old Man. 

Ch. 

Tell Jasio a lot about me. I agree with you à propos of the 
apartment, that I had better take the one next door to me. Write, 
even if you have not decided. 
Monday. 



147. 

To the Same. 
[Undated.] Saturday. 

Please read this letter and send it on at once to that fool. 
Don't send me any pie if there isn't a Strasbourg one. And about 
the apartment. As the Mathurin one faces due North, I am 
undecided, and should like a description of that 1st floor in the 
Tronchet. You do not say which No. in the Tronchet. Let me 
know, and be prepared to copy the Polonaise for Mechetti. 
Wessel is a rogue; I will never send him anything more after 
the: "Agréments au Salon." Perhaps you don't know that he 
has given that title to my second Impromptu, or one of the 
Waltzes. Embrace Jasio. I will write to you more fully tonight. 
Don't waste time on Wessel. Address to him, and write at the 
top that in case of the absence of Herr Wessel, Mr. Stapelton, 
or Stapleton, can open it, if you consider that necessary. I em- 
brace you and Jasio. Clearly, I was not born to make money. 

Ch. 

Mick[iewicz] will come to a bad end, unless he was having 
a joke with you all. 



240 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
148. 

To the Same. 
[Undated.] 

My Dear. 

What you have done is well done. It's a wonderful world! 
Masset is a scoundrel, and Pelletan another. Masset knew about 
the Paccini Waltz, and that I had promised it to the Gazette. 
I did not want to take one step without first referring to him. 
If he won't accept for 600, with London (his price for my 
ordinary manuscripts was 300), 3 times 5^ 15. But to give 
so much work for 1500 fr. is impossible. Especially as I told 
him the things may turn out so that I cannot give them for that 
price. For instance, he could not demand that I should sell him, 
say, 12 Etudes, or une Méthode de piano for 300 fr. The same 
with the Allegro maestoso which I send to you today; I can't 
give it for 300 fr., only for 600. For the Fantasia, 1 500. I will 
let him have the Nocturnes, 2 the Ballade 3 and the Polonaise 4 
at 300, like those which he printed before. That is: for Paris, 
these 5 things for 2,000. If he doesn't care to have them {entre 
nous) I shall be glad, because Schlesinger will be delighted to 
buy them ; but I do not wish him to regard me as a person who 
does not keep his promises. // n'y avait qu'une convention tacite 
d'honnête homme à honnête homme; 5 so he need not complain 
of my terms, which are very moderate, especially as it is long 
since I have published anything. All I want is to get out of this 
position with decency. I know that I am not selling myself. 
But tell him, if I wished to take advantage of him or to cheat 
him, I could write 15 bad things in a year, which he would 
buy at 300, and I should have a larger income. Would that be 
more honest? My dear, tell him that I don't write often, and 
publish little; don't let him think that I am raising my prices; 

1 F minor; Op. 49. 

2 C minor and F sharp minor; Op. 48. 

3 3rd Ballade, A flat major; Op. 47. 

4 F sharp minor; Op. 44. 

6 There was only an understanding, as between one honest man and another. 

241 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

but when you see the blots on my manuscript you will see, your- 
self, that I have a right to ask 600, when he gave me 300 for 
the Tarantella (for the Bollero [sic] 500). I beg you, for God's 
sake, respect my manuscript; don't crush me, or smear me with 
pitch, or tear me to pieces (all things of which you are in- 
capable; but I write it because I do so love my laborious writ- 
ings). Make a copy. Yours can remain in Paris. Tomorrow you 
shall have the Nocturnes, and by the end of the week the Bal- 
lade and Fantasia; I can't polish them enough. If it bores you 
to copy them, do it for the remission of your great sins, for I 
don't want to give this spider's web to any hack copyist. Once 
more, I rely on you; for if I had to write out those 18 pages 
once more, I should go mad. But don't crumple them!!! — I 
send you a letter to Haertel. Try to find me another valet, not 
the one you have. I expect to be in Paris at the beginning of 
November. I'll write to you tomorrow. Write. 

Yours 

Ch. 

Monday morning. 

I have just re-read your letter — I see that he asks about 
just Paris. So settle the question as best you can, but press him 
for 3,000 pour les 2 pays (or 2,000 for Paris alone), if he 
himself should lay stress on that; because la condition des 2 
pays is easier for him and more advantageous for me: if he does 
not consent, it may perhaps be in order to have a pretext for 
breaking with me. So we will await his answer from London. 
Write always openly, and be always very courteous with him, 
my Dear; be cold, but not to me. 

Ch. 



242 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
149. 

To the Same. 
[Undated.] 

My Dear. 

Grzym[ala] will tell you about the apartment. About the 
Polonaise, I promise. I embrace you. Thanks for your letter, 
and no doubt we shall soon meet. Write to me, if only about the 
weather. Embrace Jasio; he is probably better. Once more, 
thank you for the shoes, and music, etc., etc. 



150. 

[In French] 

To Mme George Sand. 
{Paris, 25 September 1841.] 

Here I am in the rue Tronchet, arrived without fatigue. It 
is eleven in the morning. I am going to the rue Pigalle. I will 
write to you tomorrow, don't forget me. 

I embrace your children. 

Ch. 
Saturday. 

151. 

To JULJAN FONTANA. 

[Nohant posting station. La Châtre, 
1 October 1841.] 

My Dear. 

Yesterday, Thursday, I came here. I have done the C sharp 
minor Prelude for Schlesinger ; it is short, as he wished. As 

243 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

it is to come out at new year, like Mechetti's Beethoven, don't 
give up my Polonaise to Leo (even though you have copied it 
already) because tomorrow I will send you a letter to Mechetti, 
in which I will explain to him that if he wants a short thing, I 
will give him for that Album, instead of the Mazurka that he 
asked for (which is already old), today's Prelude. It is well 
modulated and I can send it without anxiety. Let him give me 
300 for it (that's right?), and par dessus le marché 1 let him 
have the Mazurka, but not print it in the Album. If Troupenas, 
that is, Masset, should make any difficulties, don't come down 
a farthing; tell him that perhaps he would prefer not to print 
everything (he won't want that; I could sell them higher to 
someone else). Tell him the 600 includes London, and that 
these manuscripts are far more important than those former 
ones. That's as far as I am concerned — Now. In the drawer 
of the bureau, on the right-hand side from the bottom [a draw- 
ing of the bureau, with inscription: " This one " on one drawer] 
you will find a parcel, sealed, and addressed to Mme Sand (in 
the place where the money is usually kept). Pack it up in oiled 
cloth, seal it and send it by diligence, addressed to Mme George 
Sand. Sew the address round with packthread, so that it should 
not tear off. That is what Mme Sand asks. I know you will do it 
beautifully. I think the key is the second one in the glazed cup- 
board, on the upper shelf, near the shaving-brush. If it's not 
there, get a locksmith to open it. I love you as of old. Embrace 
Jasio. 

Ch. 

Write a line. 
Thursday, the 5th. 

I reopen this letter, to tell you that this parcel, or pocket- 
book, should be packed between boards, or in a little box, or 
however you think, to keep it from getting wet, or torn, or lost. 

1 Into the bargain. 



244 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
152. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant, October 1841.] 

Dear. 

Thanks for sending the pocketbook. I send you the Prelude 
in large writing for Schl[esinger] and in smaller for Mechetti. 
You can cut down similarly the manuscript in my handwrit- 
ing of the Polonaise, put it together with that Prelude (number- 
ing the pages), add my letter to Mechetti, seal it up in the 
envelope that I send you, and give it into Leo's hands, asking 
him to send it by post, as Mechetti is waiting for it. Post Hass- 
linger's letter yourself, and if you don't find Schlesinger, 
leave a letter for him, but not the manuscript, till he lets you 
know that he accepts the Prelude in settlement of the account. 
If he does not want the London propriété on any terms, tell him 
to write to me. And you write. Tell him that I do not demand that 
100 fr. at once. Also dont forget to add the opus to the Polo- 
naise, and the number to the Prelude that you send to Vienna. 
I don't know how Mme Czerniszew 1 spells her name ; perhaps in 
the thing under the vase, or somewhere in the drawer of the 
little table, near that bronze ornament, you can find a card from 
her, or from the governess, or the daughter. If not I should be 
glad (if you don't mind) if you would go to her — they already 
know you as my friend — at the Hôtel de Londres, Place Ven- 
dôme, if they are still in Paris, and ask, from me, that the young 
princess should give you her name in writing. You can say 
why: is it Tscher, or Tcher? Or, still better: ask Mile Krauze, 
the governess. Say that I want to give a surprise to the young 
princess, and ask Mile Krauze (who is very pretty) to write 
to you whether it is Elisabeth, and whether Tschernischef or ff: 
how they usually write it. Say that she can tell the princess (the 
mother), but not the daughter, as I don't want her to know till 
I send it from here. If you would rather not do it, don't mind 
saying so to me ; just let me know, and I will find out elsewhere. 

1 The name is Russian: written in French: Tchernicheff ; or in English: Cherny- 
shev. There is endless confusion about the transliteration of Russian names, 

245 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

But tell Schlesinger not to print the title yet; tell him I don't 
know the spelling. But I hope that you will find a card in the 
house with the name. About the moving, I am glad that you 
have found an apartment. You can have the drawing-room sofa, 
and give the rest to Pelletan, 16 rue Pigal[le]. I shall have to 
take the bed out of the bedroom, because décidément I shall 
live in one of the pavilions 1 of the rue Pigal. Enough ; only a 
little will remain for you. Today I will write you the details. I 
must stop, for the post is going, and I want my letter to Vienna 
to go off this week without fail. So in an hour's time I will write 
you, with details. 

Your 

Ch. 



153. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant] 7 October 1841. 

My Dear 

Then, have the furniture moved; I especially recommend to 
your care the bit of crockery in the drawing-room. As the 
drawer of the cabinet where they are does not lock, take them 
out for safety. As it is decided that I am going to live in one 
of the pavilions, I shall need the bed. Household stuff, music, 
anything you come across, you can have sent to the rue Pigal. 
You will need money for that. So if that 50 is too little, let 
Jasio spare you what he can. As for the price of the lodging, 
you can go to Pleyel, whom I have notified to give you the 
money for the rent. Give 20 fr. to the porter, as a tip from 
me, and tell him to forward all letters to rue Pigal, 16. The 
Fountain (not you, only the one that stands in the vestibule) 
may be useful to you; those little sofas are shabby, but there 
are the covers. I am sorry, my Dear, that I can't offer you these 
bits of things; but as the proverb says, the fairest maiden can 
give only what she has. Don't be angry when you are moving. 

1 annexes? 

246 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Don't forget my little things by the fireplace. As for the 
pendule, 1 take it; but I don't know if I can leave it with 
you; I probably can, though, as perhaps I shall have no 
room for it. Don't do all the moving on one day, so that 
you don't completely lose your temper! Write to me if there 
are any difficulties. Pelletan, from the rue Pigal, will be 
notified. 

About Wessel; has nothing come? It occurs to me that, if you 
did not put his address in full on the envelope this time (I 
never know what it is) the letter probably failed to reach him. 
We'll wait. 

If by any chance you, or Jasio, or Albrecht, or Alkan, or 
Grzymała, should know of a valet ; or if you meet with one : — 
sometimes one can find them. But not through Charles, or there 
will be cancans; and, living in the rue Pigal, I shall need some- 
one who won't be quarrelsome and upset Mme Sand's country 
servants. It's just a chance. Perhaps you can hear of something 
satisfactory in the Club. Tomorrow or the day after I'll send 
you a letter to my people. My father greets you kindly. Don't 
forget about Troupenas. Don't be cross ; you are at your zenith, 
as I am at mine; we should have got past worrying. I am over 
30. Your Panna Mlokosiewicz, I hear from my sister (whom I 
asked about her) has had bad luck; she has been ill. Some say 
it is enlargement of the liver, some, that it is a dropsical swell- 
ing; but they have pumped out the water, or whatever it was; 
and she is now well, and slender, and graceful, as before. No 
one knows the truth. Our Nowakowski, who was to have come 
here, has reached Warsaw. I am glad. Some young lady from 
the governesses' Institute fell in love with him and has lost her 
place. You remember him; he's bald, and much more of a 
ninny than we are; and is still going in for conquêtes! A good 
prognosis for us. Today is the 7th (half past 2 in the night). 
You will move on the fifteenth; or sooner? You still have a week. 
I'll write to you if I remember anything urgent. I particularly 
beg you, don't forget to give the porter instructions, with the 
20 francs, that people and letters should be sent on to the rue 
Pigal. I'm sorry for you. I see you in the middle of dust and 

1 clock. 

247 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

confusion. But if I could be in Paris myself for the moving, I 
should probably not bother you. 

Your old 

Ch. 

Greetings to Leo, and don't forget to tell him to send to 
Mechetti by post, not through anybody. Post Hasslinger's letter 
yourself; don't give it to Leo. 



154. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant. Postmark: La Châtre, 10 October 1841.] 

My Dear. 

You have probably received my letters and compositions. You 
read the German letters, and sealed them, and did everything 
as I asked; didn't you? Now about Wessel; he's a windbag and 
a cheat. Write him what you like; but say that I have no intention 
of giving up my rights over the Tarantella. As he did not return 
it in time — and if he has lost on my compositions, it is doubt- 
less because of the silly titles which he has given them without 
my consent and in spite of the strong objection several times 
expressed by Mr. Stapleton [sic] ; and if I were to listen 
to my feelings, I would never send him anything more after 
those titles. Speak as strongly as you can. About the mov- 
ing: M. Pelletan of the rue Pigal has been formally notified 
today by Mme Sand, who thanks you for the few kind words 
that you sent with the pocketbook. Have my letters sent to 
16 rue Pigal, and impress it very earnestly on the porter. 
Mme Sand's son will be in Paris about the 16th; I will send 
you by him the manuscript of the concerto and nocturnes. 
Write. It's all rain and mud here. Embrace Jasio. As for Antek, 
I think I told you that his illness is not so terrible, and that 
there's a good deal else in it. No doubt we shall soon see him; 

248 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

but he won't even see his people. Love me as of old. Write 
a line. 

Your 

Fryc. 
Saturday morning. 



155. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant] Wednesday [28 October 1841]. 

My Dear. 

We are coming without fail on Monday, that is, the 2nd, at 
2 in the afternoon, or perhaps at 5 or 6, in case of anything 
unexpected. You have offered me your help in arranging things 
in the rue Pigal. I don't want it; thank you, but it would be 
asking too much of your kindness; but what I will ask of you 
is to come at 2 on Monday to the rue Pigal. Also to go there 
before, and see Pelletan. Things are standing still. Moreau is 
there with his wife; they are servants of Mme Sand, whom she 
sent from here to Paris with permission to stay in the rue Pigal 
till they can find a job or lodging. If they are still there, be 
sure to see Pelletan, to whom Mme Sand wrote that they must 
move out without fail before Monday, even before Sunday 
would be better. If Pelletan is very busy (he is publishing a new 
newspaper: — Le 19 Siècle), see to it, after communicating 
with him, that the windows shall be opened (if it is not raining) 
and the place aired, especially Mme Sand's pavilion. And that 
fires are made in the fireplaces and stove, for two or three days. 
If Moreau, whom Mme Sand may keep for a few days (that 
is, to come in, without his wife, but not to sleep in; Pelletan 
knows about it) : — if Moreau is disponible, 1 he knows Mme 
Sand's service well, so only see that he opens the windows 
and lights the fires. But if Moreau is not disponible (Pelletan 
will tell you), then let the porter, M. Armand and his (very 
decent) wife attend to it, and you just see it's done; of course, 

1 available. 

249 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

communicating with Pelletan, who, poor fellow, may perhaps 
have lost his head with his new newspaper and have no time to 
attend to material things. Speak to him about his newspaper; 
he is a decent fellow, and learned; and treat him in a friendly 
way, and dont be cross, either with me or with him, or with 
yourself, or with anybody. About a valet, have one to look at, 
but don't engage him, because I don't know whether he will be 
liked; and although he would be my servant, still, living so 
close, there might be various things. En tout cas, for our arrival, 
the porters are decent and willing folk; ménagez them, or 
better still tip them, if they are to attend to the apartment, 
not Moreau. But only if it doesn't worry you. It will get done 
somehow. My old proverb. Anyhow, time flies, the world passes, 
death pursues us, and my manuscripts pursue you. Dont hurry 
with those, Dear; I would rather people should wait for them 
in Leipsic, than that it should be cold, or dusty, or smelly, or 
damp in the rue Pigal when we arrive. Don't bother about my 
apartment, or about my bed, or about anything. I'll attend to 
all that myself the next day, and not worry you. That's measure 
for measure, whenever you may need any such proofs of friend- 
ship. Your old bald head can meet my decrepit and mouldy 
nose, and we'll sing together : Long live the Cracow Suburb ! x to 
a tune of Buguslawski's, in Krzysztofowicz's tenor, to an ac- 
companiment by Pan Lenz. 

Your old 

Ch. 

Write either today, that is Friday, or not at all. My Life. Go 
to my hatmaker, Dupont, No 8 rue de Montblanc, and tell him 
to make me a hat for Monday. He always makes my hats. They 
know me there and won't want any measure; but Monday with- 
out fail. 

Tell the porter at the rue Pigal not to send on any more letters 
here. 

1 A street in Warsaw. 



250 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
156. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant, beginning of November 1841.] 

My Dear. 

Thanks for Masset's letter. No doubt you have already told 
him, but if not do tell him that you have written to me, and that 
I am very sorry, but that I cannot, on any terms. So let him not 
be offended that I am forced to apply to others. As for the 
Prelude for Schl[esinger's] Album, I told Mme M asset last 
time; but don't start that here. I send you two Nocturnes; the 
rest on Wednesday. My departure from here is delayed, so 
perhaps I shan't reach Paris till the 6th or 8th. Please copy, 
for the winter is beginning. You shall have the remainder the 
day after tomorrow. 

Your old one — 

Write, Dear. 

Embrace Jasio. 

Find me a valet. I know Marchand, but he is not for me (and, 
entre nous, he drinks). 

Perhaps some sharps and flats may be missing. 



157. 

[In French] 

To M. C. Pleyel in Paris. 
Paris [undated] 

Dear Friend, here is what Mr. Onslow writes to me. I would 
call to see you and tell you about it, but I feel very weak and 
am going to bed. I love you more and more if that is possible. 

Chopin 

Don't forget M. Herbault, please. So, till tomorrow. I expect 
you both. 

251 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
158. 

To Panna Yozefa Turowska in Paris. 
[Par is, undated.] 

I promised to write you a few words yesterday evening; but 
I have not seen Soliva, and today, the more I think over what 
you told me, the more I regret that you chose just me to honour 
with your confidence in a matter of which I see that I cannot 
judge. At your request I gave you well meant advice; and not 
lightly, but after thinking the matter well over. And I again 
repeat that, from what I had the pleasure of hearing (not 
judging of timbre, since you were tired from the journey and 
had a Parisian catarrh), I consider that you have an exceedingly 
resonant voice, a very pure intonation, and feeling — the most 
important element in a big talent — and that more knowledge 
of the art of singing would do you no harm. 

That was why I gave you my sincere opinion about Bordogni, 
that he can teach you nothing more ; an opinion to which I still 
hold, and therefore advised you as I thought best. I was mis- 
taken; it is not a question of knowledge, but of name. I should 
have thought of that ; but it is too late now. Count on me and my 
willingness to serve you in any other case; but I have recom- 
mended you to Soliva, whom I rate above Bordogni, too highly 
to be able, today, to ask him to refuse me the very thing which 
I so earnestly desired and worried him over a few days ago. 
Please forgive me, and believe that I really wish to serve you in 
any other matter: for instance, by sincere speech. 

F. Chopin 

I await Lablaches answer, and will forward it to you at 
once. 
Saturday morning. 



252 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
159. 

[In French] 
To Messrs. Breitkopf and Hartel in Leipsic. 

Gentlemen, 

I have just received your letter, with the cheque payable 
the 13th of Dec, and beg you to accept my thanks for your 
punctuality. The numbers of [ ? ] on the manuscripts are rightly 
placed. Mechetti, at Vienna, has a prelude for his Beethoven Al- 
bum, and a Polonaise. 

I have asked Schlesinger to arrange with you about the day 
of issue. He has begun the engraving, and I hope that you also 
will wish it to be done promptly. 

I do not send you the London address, as I have been forced 
to leave Wessel and have not yet made any definite arrange- 
ment elsewhere; but let that not keep you back. I beg you also 
to place on the title page of my nocturnes, instead of Mile 
Emilie, Mlle Laure Duperré. 

Cordially yours, 

F. Chopin 
Paris, 3rd Dec. 1841. No. 16, rue Pigalle. 



160. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
[Undated. Before April 1842.] 

I must stay in bed all day, I have so much pain in my beastly 
face and glands. You don't know how cross I am that I couldn't 
go to the Roule x yesterday. If Raciborski will let me go out 
tomorrow (Jasio is in bed himself and had bloodletting to- 
day), I will come to you at once. I know nothing about the 
fort [epiano?] But the day before yesterday I told them to 

1 The Czartsryskis lived in the rue du Roule. 

253 



chopin's letters 



follow Paër's advice. Write a line about your health. Are you 
better? I will pray here. 

Ch. 



161. 

To the Same. 
[Paris; undated.] 

My Dear Life. 

I have called on you twice to tell you that I am back; but 
the wigmakers probably forgot to tell you. We shall meet at 
Leo's at dinner; and tomorrow, if you like, I will wait in till 
2, as I am doing the whole day today. I will go out only to post 
this letter. I am dining with Frankom [Franchomme?] and shall 
be home at 10. If you want to come in, even at night on your 
way back from the opera, I'll embrace you. I would come to 
you but it would have to be very early, and for me, the morn- 
ing, — by the time I finish choking, it's 10 o'clock. I embrace 
you most heartily. 

Your old 

Ch. 1 
Nohant 2 expected on the 9th. 



162. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant. Postmark: La Châtre, 28 July 1842.] 

My Dear. 

Tomorrow night we go to Paris to look for lodgings. On Satur- 
day evening we shall be at the rue Pigalle. I shall spend the 

1 Hoesick supposes this letter to have been written "probably during the first 
days of November 1841." Dr. Opieński regards this as a mistake, as in 1841 
Chopin was still at Nohant in early November, as is shown by one of the letters 
to Fontana, who was to expect him on the 6th or 8th. 

2 George Sand's arrival. 

254 



CHOPINS LETTERS 

day here. Mlle de Rozières arrived today, and will stay with 
Solange for the few days. The post is going, so I can't write 
more. I hope I shall find you well. 

Your old 

F. Ch. 

She [Mme Sand] does not add a postscript, because she has 
guests from town. 
Wednesday evening. 



163. 

To the Same. 
[Paris; undated.] 

My Dearest Life. 

For God's sake, was it for tomorrow that you told me to en- 
gage your [ ? ] x Please, send it to me tomorrow, and 
run in yourself, for a moment; it will be a kindness. 

Your 

Chopin 
Wednesday. 



164. 

To Józef Elsner in Warsaw. 
Paris, 8 November 1842. 

Dear, always dear Pan Eisner! You can't think how much 
pleasure every word of your note has given me; and I thank 
you warmly for the music sent by the Turczynowiczes. They 
were successful here, were much liked, so they must be pleased, 
and Pan Damse too. I am not answering his letter, but please 
be so kind as to tell him how great an impression his children 
(as he calls them) produced here. 

1 The word does not make sense. 

255 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I embrace you heartily. I love you still, as a son, as an old 
son, as an old friend. 

Chopin 
My respects to Pani Elsner. 
Greetings to all around you. 



165. 
To Tomasz Nidecki in Warsaw. 

I have received your letter, dear Tomasz, and at once asked 
the people I know to inquire for a harpist. So far I have seen 
no one who would consent to go to you for the price; especially 
as you do not write whether you will pay for the journey. As 
for a mechanician, that seems to me easier ; and yesterday some- 
one was to ask Pillet, the director here, whether by any chance 
one of his men may be leaving. You see that I am attending 
to your commission, so far as I can; but I am sorry to say that, 
till now, without success. Write whether you will pay the 
harpist's journey. I think it is absolutely necessary if we are 
to get it settled. Always count on my old friendship. 

F. Chopin 

Embrace Pan Eisner and my acquaintance. 
Paris, 30 November 1842. 
Rue St. Lazarre [sic], Place d' Orleans. 



166. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 

Nohant, Tuesday [Undated. 1842?]. 

My Life! 

I hope this letter will find you more cheerful than the last 
one did. Here, health is so-so. Weather beautiful. Tomorrow, 

256 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

or the next day, we expect the good Delacroix. 1 He will have 
your room. 

Forgive me for asking you once more to send a letter to the 
Viennese editor; but I think, for Austria, they have to be 
stamped. They will tell you at the bourse. I ask this favour of 
you, because the letter contains manuscripts of mine, laboriously 
written out; I don't want to entrust them to any uncertain fate. 

I won't bother you with any more commissions, for I know 
how unpleasant they are. 

I hope all will go well with you. Be well, and don't fret. 

Your old 

Ch. 



167. 
[In French] 
To Messrs. Breitkopf and Hartel in Leipsic. 

Gentlemen, 

I have to offer to you a Scherzo (for 600 fr.), a Ballade (for 
600 fr.), a Polonaise (500 fr.). 

Besides these I have written an Impromptu, of several pages, 
which I do not even offer to you, as I wish to oblige one of my 
old acquaintances, who for the last two years has been con- 
stantly asking me for something for Herr Hofmeister. I mention 
it in order to explain to you my motive in this matter. 

If my Scherzo, Ballade, and Polonaise are acceptable to you, 
be so kind as to write me a word by the next courier, and to let 
me know when you would like me to send them to you. 

Most faithfully yours, 

Fr. Chopin 
15 December 1842. 
Paris, Place d 'Orléans No. 9 rue St. Lazare 

1 The painter Delacroix spent some time at Nohant in the summer of 1842. 



257 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
168. 

To Wojciech Grzymała 
[Nohant, undated, 1843. 1 ] 

My Life! 

I told you that I should beg you to send a letter to my parents, 
and another to Leipsic with manuscripts. I have no one except 
you, to whom to entrust either of them. Be so kind as to post 
them at the bourse when you are passing. My manuscripts are 
worth nothing, but it would mean a lot of work for me if they 
were lost. Here the health of the Lady of the House is no better. 
I drag along as I can, but I don't know when we shall meet. 
The weather is still fine here; the children can enjoy games, and 
there is a notion of returning late, especially as the city is ex- 
pensive. You have doubtless finished your hotel, or nearly. 
There is no day that I do not think of you, and of all that ought 
to give you happiness. I hope I shall find you well, cheerful, 
and, as far as possible, happy. Several days ago we made an 
excursion in this neighbourhood to see the banks of the Creuse; 
the lad 2 made drawings of the views. It was a very successful 
trip, with friends who are neighbours; but she has been unwell 
since we returned, and has not been able to work for a few 
days. That distresses her, so things are not cheerful. 

I embrace you most heartily. 

Your old 

Ch. 
I respectfully kiss her hands. 



169. 
To Thomasz Nidecki in Warsaw. 

Dear Tomasz! 

Nobody wants to go to you, even for twice as much ; but I am 
not surprised, for Labarre, whom I asked to help me in this 

1 According to Hoesick. . 

2 George Sand's son, Maurice. 

258 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

matter, assured me that he cannot get anyone to go to Lyons for 
very good pay; all the artists are so fond of Paris. They would 
rather suffer want here than live decently abroad or in the prov- 
inces. I'm sorry that I could not be of any use to you this time ; 
but we will still love each other as in the old days in the Leopold- 
stadt. 

F. Chopin 
Paris, 25 January 1843. 
9 Place d'Orléans, St. Lazare. 



170. 
[In French] 
To Messrs. Brietkopf and Hartel in Leipsic. 

Dear Herr Haertel: 

I send you your leaf with my signature, and — since you 
talk business to me — should you like me to send you by 
M. Maho my two Nocturnes and my three Mazurkas, for the 
price of 600 francs for each of the 2 works? Please tell M. Maho, 
who will let me know. 

I am very sorry to have had so little of the pleasure of meeting 
you during your stay in Paris this year ; I hope to make up for 
it when you come again. 

Till next time, then. Kindly present my respects to your 
household. 

Yours faithfully 

Fr. Chopin 
Tuesday morning. 



259 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
171. 

To Maurice Schlesinger in Paris. 
[Nohant] 22 July 1843. 

Dear Friend! 

In the Impromptu which you have issued in the Gazette l of 
June 9th the pages are wrongly numbered, which renders my 
composition incomprehensible. Though I am far from the me- 
ticulousness which our friend Moscheles shows with regard to 
his works, I still feel it my duty to your subscribers to ask you 
to insert in the next number the following erratum: 

Page 3: read p. 5. 

Page 5: read p. 3. 

If you are very busy, or too indolent to write me a word, you 
can answer me in your publication by means of this erratum; 
which will also show me that you, Mme Schlesinger and your 
children are all enjoying excellent health. 

Very sincerely yours, 

Fr. Chopin 2 



172. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 

Saturday [Undated. Nohant, 1843?]. 

My Dear! 

You can't think how this Spanish gossip affects me. Judge of 
things as they are. I remember, one evening in my 3 Lady's 
house, she was very severe against today's Agatha; it was after 
that evening that she decided to see the favourite. You took up 
the defence, and did not share her enthusiasm for the one who 
is now in London, and who was then, it was said, to be engaged 

1 Gazette municipale; Paris, Schlesinger, éditeur. [Op.] 

2 This letter, written in French, is given by Hoesick in a Polish translation. 
The French original appears to be unknown. [Op.3 

3 Chopin refers to Mme Sand as "moja": mine. Perhaps a nearer rendering 
than "my Lady" would be the Irish: "Herself." 

260 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

for grand opera. That evening my Lady told you that you must 
be in love with Agatha — I don't know whether you noticed it; 
but I was upset, and that evening, in her room, I told her not to 
joke about it, because you really know Mile Agatha, and nothing 
would be easier than to make a mess of things and cause un- 
pleasantness for you and others. Now, believe me or not; but, 
as I love my mother, I never said another thing to her. Yesterday, 
after your letter, I told her that she must have at some time made 
a joke about you and Agatha, to the Spaniard, 1 or the Red-head, 
or somebody: because the Spaniard is saying silly things to you 
and representing them as coming from me or from her. She 
then swore to me that really nothing about you and Agatha had 
ever come into her head ; adding that she knows your affections 
to be engaged elsewhere ; also that the Spaniard, when she wants 
to find out something, has a trick of presenting nonsense of her 
own invention as established facts, and throwing the blame on 
those who are most intimate with the persons about whom she is 
curious. Beyond this, there has not been a word on the subject. 
You can see from this how much she respects certain things. 
The weather here is neither fine nor bad. The first day she was 
very unwell; now she rides on horseback, very well, by day; is 
cheerful, writes, paints and amuses herself. 

Your 
Ch. 

I have torn off a second sheet, so that she shall have more 
space to write to you. Please write. 



173. 
[In French] 

To Mme George Sand. 

Monday [Paris 14 August 1843]. 

Here I am, arrived at eleven, and here I am at once at 
Mme Marliani's, both writing to you. You will see Solange 1 at 

1 This may refer to Mme Viardot-Garcia. 

2 George Sand's daughter. 

261 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

midnight on Thursday. There was not a seat either Friday or 
Saturday; nothing till next Wednesday, and that would have 
been too late for everyone. I should like to be back already, — 
you don't doubt that; and I am very glad that fate has compelled 
us to start Thursday. Till Thursday, then, and tomorrow, with 
your permission, I will write again. 

Your very humble 

Ch. 

I have to choose the words that I know how to spell. 



174. 

[In French] 

To Mme George Sand. 
Friday [September 1843] . 

Here is what Maurice has written to you. We have had your 
good news, and we are happy that you are pleased. Everything 
that you do ought to be big and beautiful, and if we don't write 
to you about what you do, it is not because it does not interest 
us. Maurice sent you his box yesterday evening. Write to us, 
write to us! Till tomorrow. Think of your old ones. 

Ch. 
To Sol [ange]. 

Maurice is well, and I too. 



175. 

[In French] 

To Mme George Sand. 
[Paris, 26 November 1843.] 

So you have finished your survey, and your stables have tired 
you. Take it easily before the journey and bring us your fine 

262 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

weather from Nohant, for we are in the rain. Nevertheless, as I 
ordered a carriage yesterday after waiting till three for the 
weather to clear, I have called on Rotschild [sic] and Stock- 
hausen, and am none the worse for it. Today, Sunday, I am rest- 
ing and am not going out; but by preference, not by necessity. 
Believe that we are both well, that illness is far from me, and 
that I have only happiness before me. That I have never been 
more hopeful than for the coming week, and that all will go as 
you wish — 

Four more days. Chopin 



176. 

[In French] 

To Messrs. Breitkopf and Hartel in Leipsic. 

I, the undersigned, domiciled in Paris at rue St. Lazare 
No. 34, acknowledge that I have sold to Messrs. Breitkopf and 
Haertel in Leipsic the rights of the following works composed 
by me; namely: 

Opus 12 Variations on themes by Loudovic 

" 15 Three Nocturnes 

" 16 Rondo 

" 17 4 Mazurkas 

" 18 Grand Waltz, brillante 

" 20 Scherzo 1 

" 21 Second Concerto 

" 22 Grand Polonaise 

" 23 Ballade 

" 24 4 Mazurkas 

" 25 12 Études in two numbers 

" 26 Two Polonaises 

" 27 Two Nocturnes 

" 28 24 Preludes 

" 29 Impromptu 

" 30 4 Mazurkas 

1 See note at end of letter, page 264. 

263 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



Opus 31 Scherzo 
" 33 4 Mazurkas 
" 34 Three Waltzes: 1-3 
" 35 Sonata 
" 36 Second Impromptu 

37 Two Nocturnes 
" 38 Ballade 
" 39 Third Scherzo 

40 Two Polonaises 



Opus 41 4 Mazurkas 
42 Waltz 

46 Concert Allegro 

47 Third Ballade 

48 Two Nocturnes 

49 Fantasia 

52 Fourth Ballade 

53 Polonaise 

54 Fourth Scherzo 



I declare that I have ceded this property to the said firm, with- 
out reserve or time limit and for all countries except France and 
England, and I acknowledge that I have received the price 
agreed upon, for which a separate receipt has been given. 

F. Chopin 
Paris, 10 December 1843. 

In this First Scherzo (B major) Chopin has used the melody of the beautiful 
old Christmas Carol: Lulaj Jezuniu, which is still sung in Poland. 
Here is the version kindly sent to me by Dr. Opieński: 



Lu- la j- że Je-zu-niu lu-laj-że lu-laj, A ty go ma -tu -lu do snu u-tu-laj. 



t *~ ^ ^ w • r ~ 

Lu -laj - że Je -zu - niu mo-je pe - rel-ko, Lu-laj u - lu- bio - ne me pie - sci-del-ko. 

Lully, baby Jesus, lullaby lully; 
And thou, dear mother, soothe him to sleep. 
Lully, baby Jesus, my little pearl; 
Lullaby darling beloved. 

As is frequently the case with folk-tunes, there are several variants. Chopin 
gives: 




264 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
177. 

To Messrs. Breitkopf and Hartel in Leipsic. 

I, the undersigned, Frederick Chopin, domiciled in Paris, 
rue St. Lazare, Place d'Orléans, acknowledge that I have sold 
to Messrs. Breitkopf and Haertel in Leipsic the rights of the fol- 
lowing works composed by me; namely: 

(a) Opus 55 Two Nocturnes for piano 

(b) " 56 Three Mazurkas " " 

I declare that I have ceded this property to them without re- 
serve or time limit, and for all countries except France and 
England, and I acknowledge that I have received the price 
agreed upon, for which a separate receipt has been given. 



F. Chopin 



Paris, 16 July 1844. 



178. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 

[Nohant. Postmark: La Châtre, 27 July 1844.~\ 

My dearest Life! 

Here I am in Nohant. On the way I thought only of your last 
talk. You are always a dear, and may God give you a better 
financial fate. The Lady of the House was as much worried over 
your last affairs as over your salto mortale x down those stairs. 
I am writing to you because I forgot to ask you about the Fire- 
works. Could you not get, through that kammerdiener of 
Philippe, a seat in a window at the Tuileries for my sister? If 
you can manage it easily, as your thoughts are freer [than 
mine], help my good sister to get a sight of the show. Write me 
a line about what is happening over your affairs. Don't write 

1 head over heels. 

265 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

much; only whether things are better? Give my respects at 
Enghien ; and if you see my sister, send her here to me. 
I embrace you most heartily. 

Your old 

Ch. 

[A very affectionate postscript from George Sand. [Op.] ! 



179. 

[In French] 

To Auguste Franchomme. 

Nohant Castle, near La Châtre (Indre) [1 August 1844]. 

Dear Friend. 

I send you a letter from Schlesinger and another for him. He 
wishes to put off publication, and I cannot accept that. If he 
should persist in his determination, give my manuscripts to 
Maho, so that he may get M Meissonier to take them for the 
same price, 600 francs. I think that Schlesinger will engrave 
them. They should be out for the 20th. But, as you know, all that 
is necessary is to register the title now. I'm sorry to trouble you ; 
I love you, and turn to you as to a brother. I embrace your chil- 
dren. My greetings to Mme Franchomme. 

Your faithful friend 

F. Chopin 

A thousand compliments from Mme Sand. 



266 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
180. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Nohant, 2 August [1844]. 

Dear Friend. 

I was in a hurry yesterday when I wrote, asking you to ap- 
proach Meissonier through Maho if Schlesinger refuses my 
compositions. I forgot that Henri Lemoine has paid a very high 
price to Schlesinger for my studies; I would rather have my 
manuscripts engraved by Lemoine than by Meissonier. I am 
giving you a lot of trouble, dear friend, but here is a letter which 
I send you for Lemoine. Read it and arrange with him. He must 
either publish the compositions or register the titles by the 20th 
of this month. Ask of him only 300 francs for each piece, which 
will make 600 francs for the two. Tell him that he need not pay 
me till I return to Paris. Leave the two works for 500 francs if 
you think it necessary. I would rather do that than give them to 
Meissonier for 600 francs, as I suggested yesterday without 
thinking it over. If, meanwhile, you have already negotiated 
with M. it is different. If not, do not cede anything for less than 
1,000 francs. For Maho, who is the correspondent of Hârtel 
(who pays me well), you can reduce the price for Germany, 
knowing that I sell my compositions so cheaply in Paris. I give 
you a lot of bother with my affairs. All this is in case of Schle- 
singer persisting in his intention of not publishing anything this 
month. Ask 800 francs from Lemoine for the two works, if you 
think that he will give it. I am not stating any price to him, so as 
to leave you full liberty. I have no time to lose before the cou- 
rier goes. I embrace you, dear brother; write me a line. 

Your faithful 

Chopin 

My greetings to Madame and a thousand kisses to your children. 



267 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

181. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Nohant, 4 August [1844]. 

Dear Friend. 

I have confidence in your friendship, so the speed with which 
you have arranged the Schlesinger affair does not surprise me 
at all. I thank you from the bottom of my heart, and await the 
moment when I can be of some use to you. I imagine that all is 
well with you, that Mme Franchomme and your dear children 
are in good health, and that you love me as I love you. 

Your faithful 

F. Ch. 

Mme Sand sends a kiss to your dear babykin, and to you a 
cordial handshake. 



182. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
[Paris. Undated; autumn, 1844.] 

I arrived the night before last, and am running about all the 
time with my sister, so every morning passes for nothing. How 
can I see you? Today I take them to Rachel, so I shall be near 
you. Perhaps I'll run in at night or tomorrow morning. They 
will still be here on Monday, and on Tuesday I go to Nohant 
and then home. Mme S. embraces you heartily. 

Your old 

Ch. 



268 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

• 183. 

[In French] 

To Mlle Marie de Rozieres. 
[Paris. Undated; autumn, 1844.] 

If you are lazy, that is bad, and I shall scold you this morn- 
ing; but at half past 1, by your permission, instead of at 1, and 
at No 5. I do not think I can go out while it is so slippery. Here 
they are asleep ; otherwise they would send you a thousand kind 
messages. 

Till we meet. 

Ch. 



184. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Nohant, Tuesday [1844]. 

I write to you without a dictionary, to entrust to you my 
letter for my mother. You gave me permission to do so, and 
I thank you in advance, and beg you to keep well. Here things 
are not so bad, except for the pianos, of which one does nothing 
at all, and the other very little. The very little, of course, is mine. 
Suzanne tells me that you have been very kind about my No. 9, 
and I am so grateful for it that I should like to be able to write 
you a long and interesting letter in proof of all my gratitude. 
But I don't know how, so I confine myself to pressing your hand. 

Fr. Ch. 

Did they send you the Sonata and the Berceuse? Give us some 
news of you. Don't go into the crowd to see the petits nautiques. 
Take care of yourself ; and if by chance there should be a letter 
from Warsaw, send it to me. I send my own sealed, but you 

269 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



can put in a word for Louise, 1 which will give her great pleas- 
ure. Be so kind as to tell Mme Etienne (if you think of it) to 
give my address to the persons who bring two musical periodi- 
cals, so that they can be sent to me here. 



185. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

[Postmark: Orleans, 3 September 1844Ą 

Dear Mlle de Rozières, 

So we have dreamed that we have seen Louise. God grant that 
she return safe and sound to her family. You have been as charm- 
ing as possible, and I have not thanked you enough for all your 
kindheartedness. I am sorry that Maurice is not there. I think he 
is to arrive today, as if to make me regret that I did not wait for 
him. In any case, I did what I thought best. Remind him of Va- 
rennes, and Marquis. 2 Possibly he may have a second key with 
him ; make him tell you, if he comes. If there is a letter for me 
from Mme Sand (which I cannot reasonably suppose), keep it 
for me, please. Also, don't forget that case. It ought to be tarred 
and covered with oiled cloth; it appears that the packers know 
this. If M. Frank (who lives above me) does not send the Ency- 
clopédie and VHumanité tomorrow, would you please remind 
him to do so. Write me a word. God will bless you; you love 
Louise. Pardon me for bringing you into my affairs. 

Your devoted 

Ch. 

Orléans. Gaillard was with the same convoy. 

1 Ludwika Jedrzejewicz. 

2 George Sand's dog. 



270 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
186. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

[Nohant. Postmark: La Châtre, September 1844.~\ 

I have time only to ask you to send this letter to Vienna, 
stamped if necessary (which is quite possible), for in Austria it 
is not the same as everywhere else; also to thank you for your 
excellent letter and to remind you of the case, of M. Frank and 
M. Duwe ; also to place myself at your feet. Very soon you will 
get a second letter with more scrawls in it. 

If my letter is delayed a day, it may miss them. Everyone 
is well here. Maurice has just written. 

Adieu. 

Ch. 
Saturday. 



187. 
To the Same. 

Thanks for the excellent letter of my sister, who, thank God, 
is standing the journey fairly well. Thanks also for M. Duwe 
and M. Frank, for whom I send you a line, which you will be 
so kind as to let him have at once, if he has not yet sent the 
books. Otherwise keep the letter. I send you by diligence 
M. Laroux's l'Humanité, which you will put with the other 
books, and send off the case as soon as possible, for when you 
receive this letter it will be ten days since they left. Ask M. Duwe 
to look again at the custom-house receipt; would it not be better, 
instead of what is there now, to put simply: — "books for 
study, periodicals and dictionaries." Also let him be so kind 
as to let me know whether it goes by Danzig or by Stettin, and 
how it will arrive at Thorn. Perhaps, it would be better to put 
" by Hamburg " only. Perhaps he has good connections at 

271 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Danzig or Stettin? I should not like it to get lost on the way; 
I thank you for all your kindnesses. Solange will write to you. 
Mme Sand is not very well today. She will only say good morn- 
ing to you in my letter. It is raining. We have just been having 
a lesson on the new Beethoven Sonata. 

Your colleague 

Ch. 
Nohant, 11 Sept. [1844.] 



188. 

To his sister Ludwika Jedrzejewicz. 

Nohant, 18 September 1844. 

My Dear — I send you the little songs that you heard one 
evening. Solange, who sends you a kiss (she has reminded me 
of it twice), wrote out the words for you from memory, and 
I the music. I hope you have arrived all right, and that you 
received news from me at Vienna and at Cracow. I sent to 
Vienna my little song that I promised you: — "Handsome 
lad, what do you want," and to Cracow a few words for Pani 
Skarbek. If you did not get either one or the other, which is 
possible, for the Austrian posts crawl very slowly, have the 
Cracow letter forwarded to you, as I should be glad to have you 
give it to Pani Skarbek yourself; the Vienna one doesn't matter, 
I can write out the song for you again. I addressed : — "To 
Prof. Jedrzejewicz, poste restante." It's the Cracow one that 
counts. I dreamed of you both today. Write me a line. I've been 
a bit inclined to grumble for some days. Maurice has not come 
yet, but is to return tomorrow, or the next day. You remember 
my telling you, when leaving here, that I should return by 
postal service, and that our whole journey will be for the preser- 
vation of certain conventionalities. 1 After dinner today we pro- 
pose to go to Ars. An aunt of the Lady of the House is here 
with her ward; as I wrote to you to Vienna, she lives with the 
ward, and, as I wrote to you to Vienna, she lives in your room. 
1 Probably an allusion to some escapade of Mme Sand's son, Maurice. [Op.] 

272 



Chopin's letters 



Often, when I come in, I look to see if there is nothing left 
of you, and I see only the same place by the couch, where we 
drank our chocolate, and the drawings that Kalasanty copied. 
More of you has remained in my room; on the table lies your 
embroidery — that slipper, — folded inside an English blotter, 
and on the piano a tiny pencil, which was in your pocketbook, 
and which I find most useful. I must stop, as we are starting. 
I embrace you most heartily. Embrace Kalasanty. Tell him that 
Hipolit asks to be remembered to him. Kiss the children too. 

Do write. 
Your old 

Ch. 



189. 
[In French] 

To Auguste Franchomme. 
Nohant, 20 September 1844. 

Dear Friend. 

I did not write to you earlier, because I was expecting to see 
you this week in Paris. As my journey is put off, I send you 
a line for Schlesinger, so that he may deliver to you the price 
of my last manuscripts; that is: 600 francs (you will keep out 
100 francs for me). I hope that he will pay it to you; if not, 
ask him (without showing any annoyance) to write a few words 
in answer, which you will send on to me, and I will write to 
M. Leo to repay you before the end of the month the 500 francs 
which you have had the kindness to lend me. 

What can I say to you? I often think of the last evening which 
we spent with my dear sister. How she did enjoy listening to 
you. Afterwards she wrote to me from Strasbourg, asking me to 
remember her to you and to Mme Franchomme. I hope that you 
are well and that I shall again find you so. Write to me, and 
love me as I love you. 

Your old 

Ch. 

273 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



A thousand compliments to Madame. I kiss your children. 
A thousand compliments from Mme Sand. 



190. 
[In French] 

To Mme George Sand 
[Paris, 23 September 1844.] 
Monday, half past 4. 

How are you? Here I am in Paris. I gave your parcel to Joly. 
He was charming. I have seen Mlle de Rozières, who kept me 
to lunch. I have seen Franchomme and my publisher. I have 
seen Delacroix, who keeps his room. We talked for two and 
a half hours; of music, of painting, and especially of you. I have 
engaged my place for Thursday; Friday I shall be with you. 
I am going to the post; then to Grzymała, then to Leo. Tomorrow 
I shall try over some sonatas with Franchomme. Here is a leaf 
from your little garden. Grzymała has just come. He says good- 
day to you and is writing you two words. I will say nothing 
more except that I am well and that I am your most fossilized 
fossil. 

Chopin 



191. 
[In French] 

To Mlle de Rozières. 
Nohant, 22 Oct[ober 1844]. 

Here is another letter for Warsaw. I abuse your kindness. 
I will tell you all that better viva voce. My sister has written 
to me in great haste; she asks me to tell you how fond she is 
of you, and that she will write to you. She is sending her son 
to college. And you, certainly, are sending me to the devil be- 

274 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

cause I bore you with my correspondence. This does not pre- 
vent me from begging you, if you see Franchomme, to be so 
kind as to ask him to let me know whether he has received 
the manuscripts for Leo (that is to say, a letter). Please keep 
well. Here it's not so bad, but no exaggerated good health. Next 
month I shall have the honour to make my bow to you in person ; 
meanwhile, I beg you to deign to accept all that one says at the 
end of a letter when one is lucky enough to have a volume of 
epistolary models. 

Ch. 

No one else is writing to you. She sends you kisses and awaits 
news of you. 



192. 
[In French] 

To the Same. 

It is long since I gave you any news of us, because I ex- 
pected to see you soon. Plans being modified, I again write 
you two words before leaving for Paris, begging you to be so 
kind as to take charge of the letter for my mother. I hope that 
your health is quite restored, and that you are not behaving 
like Donna Sol [ange], 1 who has been rather unwell for some 
days. She says she will soon write to you. 

Please be so kind as to let the porter at No. 9 know that I shall 
be in Paris in a few days. Also please ask Perrichet to make 
at once a pair of curtains of plain muslin for my sitting-room, 
if those I have are too shabby. Would you be so good as to 
find out? 

Accept all my thanks in advance. Till we meet, I hope soon. 

Ch. 

My sister sends in her letters a thousand affectionate mes- 
sages for you. Amuse yourself with Bach for me. 
Nohant, 31 Oct. 1844. 

1 A pun on "Solange," the name of George Sand's daughter, and "Dona Sol," 
the heroine of Victor Hugo's Hernani. 

275 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



193. 



To his sister Ludwika. 
For Ludwika. 
Nohant, 31 Oct. 1844. 

My beloved Dear. So you are together. I received both your 
letters, from Vienna and from Cracow. Frâulein Muller wrote 
to me that she is happy to have made your acquaintance. She's 
a good soul, isn't she? And Pani Szaszek too. It's a pity that 
neither Mme Diller nor Mme Dessauer was there. Frâulein 
Muller, if she is going to Paris now, will wait a little time for 
me; I expect to stay here two or three more weeks. The leaves 
have not all fallen, only turned yellow, and the weather has 
been fine for a week; the Lady of the House profits by this for 
various planting and arranging of that courtyard in which, you 
remember, they danced. There is to be a big grassplot, and 
flower beds. The idea is to put, opposite the dining-room door, 
a door leading from the billiard room to the greenhouse (what 
we call an orangery) which is to be built on. Your Cracow 
letter came just at the right time. Scypio amused me; but I did 
not find out whether, in my Cracow letter, you received a few 
words for Pani Skarbek. Don't forget to write me about that. 
I suppose your children are well again now. Write to me about 
Dr. Domus, and also about Tytus's arm. Sol [ange] is not very 
well today; she is sitting in my room and asks me to send you 
hearty greetings. Her brother (courtesy is not in his nature, 
so don't be surprised that he has given me no message for your 
husband about that little machine for cigars) is leaving here 
next month to go to his father for a few weeks, and will take 
his uncle with him, so as not to be bored. That manuscript that 
I brought has not yet been printed, and there may be an action 
about it. If it should come to that, it will mean a greater profit 
here, but of course unpleasantness for the moment. You re- 
member how, when we were driving across the Vic (on the road 
to Châteauroux) the Lady of the House would sometimes stop, 
and go in to see a sick woman. They could not cure her; and 

276 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

a few days ago, with many tears from her daughters, she was 
buried in the cemetery by the garden here. Nor did the one live 
that Sol used to go to. You remember how I once got out of the 
carriage in the square by the column, in Paris, and went to the 
Treasury, about some business, to a very old friend of this 
household. He called on me the next day. He was a good friend, 
the oldest friend of the father and mother of the Lady of the 
House. He was present at her birth, he buried her mother, and 
really belonged to the family. Well, returning from dining at 
the house of a certain deputy, a friend of his, he fell downstairs, 
and died in a few hours. It was a great blow here, for they were 
devotedly fond of him. De Rozières writes affectionately of you 
in every letter; my letter of today goes through her hands, and 
I will give her many compliments from you, for she deserves 
them. She was very kind, wasn't she? Tell Nowakowski that 
I love him as of old. I do not yet know his quintet but have 
ordered it. Let him sometimes write me a line. The good 
Franchomme has written to me in a very affectionate tone about 
you ; he and his wife. As I expect to be in Paris with Jan a few 
days before the Lady of the House, you need not worry about 
any bundles, or pillows, or anything of the sort. Everything in 
the house will have to be cleaned and put in order, as usually 
before the winter. Write me the number of your house. 
Embrace vour children and husband. 

Your 

Old one 

The Lady of the House embraces you; you know how they 
love you, for they wrote. The bear is in the ascendant here. 1 

1 I cannot find out to what this refers. 



277 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
194. 

[In French] 

To Mlle de Rozieres. 

[Nohant. Postmark: La Châtre, 14 November 1844.] 

As you wished me to let you know before I come, I haste to 
inform you that I shall have the pleasure of greeting you in 
Paris on Sunday (I believe at half past noon). The diligence 
which will bring me is that of Bourges, Laffitte [sic] and Co. 
St. Honoré. I do not know exactly at what hour these vehicles 
arrive, but it is during the day. Be so kind as to have a fire lit 
in my lodging, and to ask Mme Durand to make an exception 
in my favour on Sunday and to come to see me after 1. I thank 
you in advance for all this, and I will say goodbye for the 
present. 

Good day, good day, good day. 

Ch. 

Thursday morning. 

Here all is well and the weather is fine. 



195. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Nohant, Thursday, 20 [November 1844]. 

Monday or Tuesday evening, I will thank you viva voce for 
all your kindness. The letter from Valenciennes was really from 
my compatriot. I send you in exchange one from Louise, and 
I keep my compliments for my arrival. Monday, then or Tues- 
day. 

Ch. 

278 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



All is well here. They will start soon after me. They send you 
a thousand messages. 



196. 

[In French] 

To Mme George Sand. 

Monday, 3 o'clock [2 December 1844]. 

How are things with you? I have just received your excellent 
letter. It is snowing so hard here that I am very glad you are 
not travelling, and I reproach myself with having perhaps put 
into your head the idea of travelling by post in such weather. 
The Sologne must be in bad condition, for it has been snowing 
since yesterday morning. Your decision to wait a few days seems 
to me the best thing, and I shall have more time to get your 
rooms heated. The essential point is that you should not start 
on your journey in this weather, with a prospect of suffering. 
Jan has put your flowers in the kitchen. Your little garden is all 
snowballs, sugar, swan, ermine, cream cheese, Solange's hands 
and Maurice's teeth. . . . 

Yesterday I dined at Franchomme's ; I did not leave till four, 
on account of the bad weather, and in the evening I went to 
Mme Marliani. Today I dine at her house, with Leroux, she 
tells me, if the sitting of the court in his brother's case, which 
is to be heard today, finishes early. I found the Marlianis fairly 
well, except for colds. I have not seen either Grzymała or Pleyel ; 
it was Sunday. I hope to go to see them today, if the snow stops 
a bit. Take care of yourself; don't get overtired with your 
parcels. Tomorrow a new letter, with your permission. Always 
yours, older than ever; very, extremely, incredibly old .... 

Ch. 



279 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
197. 

[In French] 
To the Same. 
Thursday, 3 o'clock [5 December 1844]. 

I have just received your most excellent letter, and I see that 
you are quite worn out by these delays. But, out of pity for your 
friends, be patient; for really, we should all be anxious, if we 
knew you to be travelling in this weather and not in perfect 
health. I wish you would engage your places for the latest pos- 
sible date, so that it may be less cold ; here it is fabulous ; every- 
one says that the winter is coming too suddenly. " Everybody " 
means M. Durand and Franchomme, whom I have already seen 
this morning, and at whose house I dined yesterday, in a corner 
by the fire and in my thick overcoat, beside his big boy. The 
boy was pink, fresh, warm and bare legged. I was yellow, faded, 
cold and with three flannels under my trousers. I promised him 
some chocolate from you. You and chocolate are now synonyms 
for him. I think that your hair, which he spoke of as so black, 
must now, in his memory, have become chocolate colour. He is 
quite comic and I like him very particularly. I went to bed at 
half past ten ; but I slept much less soundly than the night after 
the railway. ... I am going out, as always, to take this letter to 
the Bourse, and before going to Mlle de Rozières, who expects 
me to dinner, I shall go to see Mme Marliani, whom I did not 
see, either yesterday or the day before. . . . My lessons are not 
yet started. Primo: I have only just received a piano. Secundo: 
People here don't know yet that I have arrived, and it is only 
today that I have had several callers on business. It will come 
little by little ; I am not anxious. ... I think that morning has 
dawned, and that you are in your dressing-gown, surrounded 
by your dear fanfi, 1 whom I beg you to kiss for me, and also 
to put me at your feet. As for the mistakes in spelling, I am too 
lazy to look in the Boiste. 2 

Your mummified ancient, 

Ch. 

1 Probably meant for fanfans: darlings (children). 2 A dictionary. 

280 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



198. 



To Stefan Witwicki. 
Paris, Easter, 1845. 

My dearest Life. 

I have missed you very much this year. We could have 
grieved for many things together. I have often thought of writing 
to Grafenberg, but it ended with thinking: it became the impos- 
sible, the moment I took a pen in my hand, — and now it is 
more helplessness than laziness that makes Mme Sand's letter 
go off a week late. 

What shall I tell you: that tomorrow, Monday, is the Easter 
festival at Prince Cz[artory ski's] ; that Mick[iewicz] is not lec- 
turing this year; that many of his followers are abandoning 
him; that it is said they have written apologies to His Majesty. 
But what is grievous is that 2 (it is said that Pilichowski is one 
of them) signed documents before a notary, giving themselves 
into subjection, like property, like slaves, to Towianski: x 
n.b., they don't bind themselves for their children, but for the 
whole of their own lives. Could anything be more insane? 
Mick, is not in the same relations with Tow. as before. Tow. de- 
clares that they have overweighted the thing, that they have gone 
too far. In a word: disputes; so no doubt it will come to a 
melancholy end. Apart from this, everything is as of old. I am 
sorry you cannot be with us and Delacroix this evening at the 
Conservatoire, to hear Haydn's Creation. It is only the second 
concert we are attending this year; the first was the day before 
yesterday, with Mozart's requiem. Today Grotkowski will come 
to sing to you; 2 some new ones that he does not know (not new 
to you). My dear Ludwyczysko 3 searched for you in Vienna 
on her way home. They always ask for you. Mother has got 

1 Andrzej Towianski, 1799-1878; Polish religious mystic and founder of the 
sect of Messianists. His conversion of Mickiewicz caused great offence, both in 
Polish circles and at the College de France, where the poet lost, in 1844, his post 
as professor of Slavonic literature, through preaching Messianism in his lectures 
to the students. 

2 Chopin's songs on words by Witwicki. 

3 Ludwika. 

281 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

through the winter fairly well. She is tired, and has aged. Per- 
haps we may meet again somewhere. I don't need to remind 
you what she is like — you know how good she is — ; and you 
can imagine how much her letters have helped me. I have seen 
Zaleski once; he was kind enough to call on me. I should be 
glad to see him oftener. He was looking fairly well. Grzym[ała] 
is younger than ever; dances like a 20-year-old. Here it is 
colder than ever; this is the first day without snow in the garden. 
Spring is forgetting us. Keep well; may this be a blessed year 
for you. Love me as I do you, although I do not deserve it as 
much as you. 

Your old 

Ch. 



199. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 

Nohant, Wednesday [25 June 1845], 

My Life! 

Please post this letter to Solange at the little post office, and 
the one to my family at the bourse. Do come, if only to stop me 
bothering you with my commissions. Here there are headaches 
ever since the railway, which in Orléans sets people down in 
the mud instead of in the street. I am fairly well, and so is the 
pistol. 

I embrace you most heartily. 

Ch. 

Write. 

[An affectionate postscript from Mme Sand.] 



282 



chopin's letters 

200. 

To the Same. 
[Undated.] 

My Dear, 

Tomorrow, Thursday, at 5| in my lodging, or at 6 in the 

gilded Café de la Cité, in the inner room. Then we will go to 

M. Marl[iani], As for the Dawn, 1 it has had a heavy fog; today 

I hope for sunshine, and before evening will send you a word. 

May the Lord God have you in his keeping. 

Your old 

Fr. 
Wednesday morning. 



201. 

To the Same. 

[Nohant] 8 July [1845]. 

My Life. 

I know from Leo's letter — he has written to me about my 
Berlin publisher, and mentions you — that you are well, and 
I see that you are always the same, beloved even by those who 
know you only of late. No doubt your thoughts are still on the 
Rhine, unless you are up to your ears in business — neverthe- 
less, write me a line about yourself. Are we really to expect you 
here; and when? The country is beautiful now, not like a few 
weeks ago. We had great storms and torrents of rain. The rivers, 
even the little brooks, overflowed extraordinarily. The oldest 
persons cannot remember such a flood. It destroyed mills and 
swept away bridges. Viardot, who came here a few weeks ago 
to fetch his wife, went back to Paris alone on account of the 
danger, and it was only within the last few days that Susanne 
escorted her from here. I did not write by them, but asked 

1 A reference to Mme Sand's baptismal name: Aurore. 

283 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Susanne to call on you and find out how you are. Please do try 
to get to manage a vacation for yourself, or, if possible, to find 
some business in the Château. It would be a good action; you 
would rejoice, among others, your old, ever attached 

Ch. 

My heartiest respects to the princes. We are all fairly well 
here. The Lady of the house is writing a new novel. 



202. 

To his Family. 
[Nohant, 20 July 1845.] 

My Dearest Ones, 

We have been here for a month already. Mme Viardot came 
with us and stayed three weeks. We are all in excellent health; 
but during the winter there was fever in the village. Françoise's 
husband (perhaps Ludwika remembers) was ill all the winter, 
but is up now. The weather is good, but when we arrived there 
were great storms. The Indre rose so high that at Montgioray 
Chativon (brother of the Lady of the house) had his whole gar- 
den flooded and water in his house. Viardot, who came to fetch 
his wife, could not take her away, for the roads were flooded 
to Châteauroux, and there, where we often took our drives, 
where the fine view is, it was impossible to pass. It did not last 
long; there was much damage in the meadow lands, but it is 
already forgotten. I was not made for the country, though fresh 
air is good for me. I don't play much, as my piano is out of 
tune; I write still less, that is why you have had nothing from 
me for so long. I think that you must all be in the country ; that 
Bartolosko Antolosko 1 has forgotten about illness ; that Lud- 
wika is following the advice of the Marjolaine, not to get tired. 
Tell her that she heard the manuscript of the novel which we are 
reading here; that an autograph has been given to me for her; 

1 family diminutives. 

284 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

that just before leaving, I saw Gutm[ann], and told him to em- 
brace you all; and that at the moment of departure I liked him 
better. He really is a good fellow. Tell dear Izabelisko 1 to take 
a little rest after her anxiety over her husband's health, and 
to give Kalasanty a beating, for he is the strongest and can 
stand such a present. I feel strange here this year; often in the 
morning I go into the next room, but there's no one there. Some- 
times I seem to fill the place of an acquaintance who comes 
for a few days; so I do not drink chocolate in the morning, and 
have moved my piano ; it is by the wall where the little sofa and 
table used to be, where Ludwika often sat embroidering my 
slippers and the Lady of the house working at something else. 
The bureau at which I write stands in the middle; on the left 
lie some of my music papers, M. Thiers and some poetry that 
would make your whiskers [tumble off] 2 on the right Cheru- 
bini; in front of me that repeater you sent me, in its case (it's 
4 o'clock) ; roses and pinks, pens, and a bit of sealing-wax left 
by Kalasanty. I am always with one foot among you, with the 
other in the next room, where the Lady of the house works; at 
this moment I am not with myself, but only as usual in some 
strange outer space. Granted, it is only those espaces imagi- 
naires; 3 but I am not ashamed of that; you know, a proverb 
has grown up here: — "he went to the coronation by imagina- 
tion," and Ï am a real blind Mazur. 4 So, not seeing far, I have 
written three new mazurkas 5 which will probably come out in 
Berlin, because a man I know has begged me for them: Stern, 
a good fellow and a learned musician, whose father is starting 
a music-shop. Also I have received an invitation from the com- 
mittee which is to put up a monument to Beethoven (at Bonn 
on the Rhine), to come for the inauguration. You can guess how 
likely I am to go. If, however, you were there, perhaps I would 
take the journey. But that is for next year. I don't know whether 
I wrote to you that princess Obreskow, who is a great music- 
lover and has much affection for me, will be passing by you 

1 family diminutive. 

2 The phrase appears to be imperfect. 

3 Imaginary spaces. 

4 A proverb; referring to the folk of Mazovia. 

5 A minor, A flat major, F sharp minor; Opus 59; published by Stern. [Op.] 

285 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

that autumn, and on her way back wants to bring Mamma in 
her carriage; and then, next spring, your daughters and sons- 
in-law and grandchildren will have to come to fetch her back. 
Really, I am very fond of this lady, and she is a person of great 
sincerity; for that matter I must have written to you long ago 
about her kindnesses to me; but I admit to you that I was 
amused at her delightful projects. Still, if you do see her, be 
very good to her on your side, for I have had many proofs of 
her kindheartedness and am very fond of her. She is extremely 
devoted to music. Her daughter, princess Soutzo, is my pupil. 
In a word, she is a very worthy lady (though perhaps a little 
too lively in appearance). Mme Viardot also, who will be pass- 
ing through your town, told me that she will call on you. She 
sang for me here a Spanish song of her own which she com- 
posed last year in Vienna ; she promised to sing it to you. I like 
it very much, and doubt whether anything finer of that type 
could be heard or imagined. This song will unite me with you; 
I have always listened to it with great enthusiasm. 

My sonata and berceuse are already out. About the berceuse, 
I think of the kind of person that Ludwika would like ; these are 
difficult things, but not impossible; I have several times made 
inquiries, and perhaps something can be found. What am I to 
tell you about Paris? Before I left, Mme Hofman was very ill; 
they were anxious about her. I hope she is better, for Albert 
wrote nothing about it. He wrote to me only what the news- 
papers have written without mentioning names, about Victor 
Hugo, to whom the following adventure happened two weeks 
ago. M. Billard, a historical painter, not specially famous, and 
an ugly man, had a pretty wife, whom Hugo seduced. M. Billard 
surprised his wife with the poet, so that Hugo was obliged, as 
the man wanted to arrest him, to show his medal of a peer of 
France, in order to gain a moment's respite. M. Billard wanted 
to bring an action against his wife, but it ended in a private 
separation. Hugo suddenly started off for a several months' 
trip. Mme Hugo (who is fine) has taken Mme Billard under 
her protection; and Juliette (an actress of the Porte St. Martin 
theatre, who has been famous here for 10 years, and whom 
Hugo has long been keeping, in spite of Mme Hugo and his 

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children and his poems on family morality) — this Juliette 
has gone with him. Parisian tongues are glad to have some- 
thing to wag about; and it is a funny story. Add to it that Hugo 
is getting on for fifty and always, on every occasion, plays the 
part of a serious person, superior to everyone. Donizetti has 
come to Paris, where he expects to spend the summer and write 
a new opera; Donizetti, who wrote Lucia, Don Pasquale, La 
Favorite, etc. Lamartine and his wife are here in Neris: x the 
nearest springs, half a day's journey from here; Méry was 
there, and now is probably still with Priesnitz, from whom I 
have had no news for a long time. Here in Châteauroux there 
are big preparations for a ball for the duke of Nemours, who 
is coming with his wife, on their way to Bordeaux. " Les sauva- 
ges indiens " 2 (Ioways) [sic] have already sailed from Havre 
on the ship " Le Versailles." The wife of one of them, — his 
name was Shinta-yi-ga : " little wolf" and hers Oke-wi-mi in 
Indian, which means : " the she bear who walks on the back 
of another " — died (poor creature) of homesickness; they are 
putting a monument to her in the Montmartre cemetery (where 
Jasio is buried) . Just before her death she was baptized, and the 
funeral was at the Madeleine, in her parish; the monument is 
to be a peculiar one, designed by M. Préault, a fairly well 
known sculptor, and M. Lassus, an architect. It is to be of stone, 
with bronze flowers winding up it and broken off at the top 
by un fantôme 3 (supposed to be mal du pays), then bronze 
bas-reliefs with gilded views of their montagnes rocheuses, 4 
the banks of the Missouri, etc.; their life over there; and 
some verses by M. Antony Deschamps. I hope I am giving you 
plenty of news. Tell Barteczek 5 that the electro-magnetic tele- 
graph between Baltimore and Washington gives remarkable re- 
sults. Often orders given from Baltimore at 1 in the afternoon 
are carried out, and the goods and parcels ready to leave Wash- 
ington by 3 ; and small parcels, asked for at half past 4, arrive 
by the 5 o'clock convoy, reaching Baltimore at half past 7, from 

1 A watering-place near Montluçon. 

2 The wild Indians. 

3 a phantom. 

4 Rocky mountains. 

5 Diminutive for Bartolomeusz. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Washington, 75 English or 25 French miles; I think that's 
quick ! ! And the year since we saw the Jędrzewiczes has gone 
as fast as on an electric telegraph wire. If this letter doesn't 
hang together, it is because I write a phrase a day. Yesterday 
Sol interrupted me, to play 4-hand duets with her; today, 
to see a tree cut down; one of those near the pavilion where 
Chaigne lived, in the garden near the road, where the Jedrze- 
jewiczes alighted. The tree got frozen, so it had to be felled. 
I have had letters from Paris, from Franchomme, and from 
Mlle de Rozières, who looks after my lodging. Franchomme 
writes that Habenek is going to Bonn for that inauguration, that 
Liszt has written a cantata, which will be sung, with Liszt con- 
ducting. Spohr will conduct a big concert, which will be given 
in the evening; three days' music. Also, à propos of monuments, 
Lesueur (the musician) is also to have a monument in his 
native town, Abbeville. Lesueur was Napoleon's music-director 
(a member of the Institute), and a professor in the Conserva- 
toire. Pan Eisner knew him well and gave me a letter to him 
when I came to Paris. He was a worthy and enlightened man; 
he died 10 years ago, before Paër and Cherubini; he was not 
very old. Speaking of monuments, the equestrian statue of the 
duke of Orléans (who was killed, jumping out of his coach) 
will be finished in a few days. It stands on the Louvre square, 
in Algerian bronze, probably with bas-reliefs. It is the work of 
Marochetti, one of the most famous sculptors here. Marochetti, 
for all his Italian name, is a Frenchman, and is a man of very 
great talent; all the most important works are entrusted to him. 
The statue faces the Tuileries. One bas-relief represents the 
taking of Antwerp, the other some Algerian episode. A propos 
of statues: near the government depository of marbles, by the 
Champ de Mars, where loads of waste marble from various 
monuments are thrown {en dernier lieu from the Madeleine), 
the heavy rains have washed out some of the heaps, and one of 
the guardians noticed among them the arm of some statue, raised 
above the other stones, as if in protest against its fate. They 
finished what the water had begun, removed the accumulated 
loads, and found a Greek statue of marble, an antique of very 
fine workmanship, representing Hercules arrêtant la chèvre 

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d'Amalthée; 1 the goat is no longer there, only the horns. A very 
interesting subject, because known only from a few small pierres 
gravées. 2 A commission, consisting of MM. Letronne, Le Bas 
(the one who raised the obelisk) etc., etc., decided to have it 
placed at once in the Palais des Beaux Arts; there, where I left 
the Jędrejewiczes last year, and came back to find them in 
the room where there is that semi-circular fresco by Delaroche, 
representing all the famous painters of various periods ; do you 
remember? For the fourth time I sit down, in the hope that 
this time I shall finish this letter. The weather has had time to 
change since that page, and today it is raining. I hope Paris will 
have good weather for this month's celebrations; this year it's 
not as when the Jędrzej ewiczes saw it last year; it is to be il- 
luminated. On the Seine, this summer, the speculators in human 
whims have hit on a new notion. There are several vessels, very 
smartly got up, and gondolas in the Venetian style, that ply in 
the evenings. This novelty delights the boulevard crowds, and 
it is said (I have not yet seen it myself) that great numbers of 
persons go on the water. This year the Elysian Fields are to be 
less brightly illuminated, but on the other hand there is to be a 
mass of lights on the quay, also fireworks, water-sports, numbers 
of boats crowded together, etc. etc. There will be no lack of 
inventiveness, and great precautions, to minimize accidents. 
Minimize, because there is no way of preventing a few persons 
from getting drowned ; just as, on land, they trample each other 
from curiosity. For the rest, the Kalasantys must remember what 
a crush there is on such days ; but people are so stupid that, the 
more they are squeezed, the better they seem to be amused. 
There is a big storm outside, and another in the kitchen. One 
can see what is happening outside, but I should not have known 
what was happening in the kitchen if Susanne had not come to 
complain of Jan, who had been pouring out varied abuse of her 
in French, because she had taken his knife off the table. The 
Jędrzejewiczes know what his French is like, so they can imagine 
what charming remarks: Laide comme cochon; bouche comme 
derrière, 3 or still more attractive. I don't know whether they 

1 catching the goat of Amaltheus. 

2 carved stones. 

3 ugly as a pig, mouth like buttocks. 

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remember that, if you ask him: " Is there any wood? " he an- 
swers: " // est sorti " ; x and to: " Is Susanne in the house? " — 
" Il n'y a pas." 2 But they often quarrel; as Mme S.'s maid is 
very skilful, quick and useful, it is possible that I may have 
to dismiss him for the sake of peace, which I should hate to do, 
for new faces are small joy. Unfortunately, the children also 
dislike him, though he does his work well and regularly. Time 
for dinner. I would still go on writing, but I really want to get 
this letter off today. It goes to Mlle de Rozières, who will take it 
to the post herself. I am writing to her to forward to me any- 
thing that may come from you. I am not worrying, because I 
know this is a moment when some are going to the left and 
others to the right, or if not, you are full of various plans. But 
please be sure to persuade Mother to go to the country, and let 
Bartek get a good rest. No doubt the Lord is keeping the children 
in good health for Ludwika. Tell Kalasanty not to give such 
lessons as he gave here to Maurice, who to this day utters such 
words as wziwzina, siuzam, 3 etc. Let Izabela, as the bravest 
one, keep a watch that the dear Ludwiczysko 4 should not get 
too tired. Izabela and I are the blond ones; we value the 
brown-haired one very highly. Embrace our friends, begin- 
ning with the neighbours and ending outside the barriers, if 
you are still in town; Pan Fryder[yk] Skarbek, 5 Elsner, 
Nowak, Bełz [a], Tytus, and all the womenfolk. Last night I 
had a pleasant dream about Pani Kozubowska. I often think of 
Pani Lutyńska, for last year I was told a lot of good things 
about her. 

I embrace my Mummy and all of you most heartily. 

Ch. 

If you see Domuś, or Panna Ludwika, or the Juliusz couple, 
remember me to them. The Lady of the House is working. I 
won't interrupt to ask her to write a word to Ludwika ; but I know 
in advance that she would send her hearty greetings. Now, this 

1 He is gone out. 

2 There isn't any. 

3 Attempts at the sounds of Polish. 

4 Diminutive of Ludwika. 

6 Probably count F. Skarbek, a famous economist. 

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minute she has finished her writing and will send Ludwika a 
few words. Adieu, my dearest ones. 

20 July 1845. 

St. Ludwika s day next month. 

An anecdote about Hugo for Kalasanty. A certain lady, of 
the type that, speaking of horse-racing, wanted to see " six 
petites chaises x ( steeple-chase ; let Bartek pronounce it in 
English: what we call here une course aux clocher; I don't know 
whether we have a term for that; it's racing to a goal, straight 
across ditches, hedges and all similar obstacles) : — Well, some 
such lady, hearing about somebody that he was in the same 
predicament as Hugo, remarked: quit a été trouvé flagrant dans 
le lit 2 (en flagrant délit). If he already knows this tale let him 
forgive me for my good intention and accept the other lady who 
wanted to know: — ce que c'est que ce tabac du père Golèze 
(Stabat de Pergolèse). 3 But that's a chestnut! A newer one is 
the lady who, engaging an apartment, asked the landlord : de lui 
faire peindre le nombril (for lambris), 4 as it was dirty. En tout 
cas, let him remember that Godfroi [sic] de Bouillon was 
ainsi nommé, parcequil a été le capitaine le plus consommé de 
son temps. 5 



203. 
[In French] 

To Mlle de RoziÈres. 
[Nohant] Monday [1845]. 

Dear Mlle de Rozières. 

Here is my letter for Warsaw, which I entrust to you. As for 
the letter supposed to be from my people, that you thought I had 

1 six little chairs. 

2 flagrant in the bed. 

3 What is this Daddy Golèze's tobacco (Pergolesi's Stabat). 

4 To paint her navel (for wainscot). 

5 So called because he was the most consummate (consommé) captain of his 
time. 

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received, it turned out to be — imagine — a thick letter from 
somewhere in Austria. It was only to get this other letter which 
I am sending you, forwarded to a certain M. Mikuli. Mme 
Etienne knows his address. Ask her to take it to him and to get a 
receipt (the letter may possibly be important). As soon as I have 
a word from Louise, I will send it to you. All that you do with 
Mme Bethon will be quite good; but don't make her go back 
over the music which she has played, unless it is very necessary. 
Thanks in advance for all your kindness. 

C. 

Would you be so kind as to let me know when Franchomme will 
leave Paris, because I want to send him my stuff before then if 
possible. 



204. 

[In French] 

To Auguste Franchomme. 
Nohant [30 August 1845]. 

My very dear friend, 

Here are three manuscripts for Brandus and three for Maho, 
who will give you Hârtel's price (1,500 fr.). Don't give up the 
manuscripts till the moment of payment. Send a note for 500 
francs in your next letter, and keep the rest for me. I am giving 
you a lot of trouble that I should like to spare you ; but — but — 

Ask Maho not to change the manuscripts for Hârtel ; because, 
as I do not correct the Leipsic proofs, it is important that my 
manuscript should be clear. Also, ask Brandus to send me two 
proofs, so that I can keep one. 

And now, how are you? And Mme Franchomme and your 
dear children? I know that you are in the country (if Saint-Ger% 
main can be called so), which must do you all the good in the 
world, with the beautiful weather we are still having. Look at 
my erasures! If I once get started in a gossip with you, I shall 

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never end, and I've no time to finish my letter, because Eug. 
Delacroix, who kindly offers to take charge of my commission 
to you, is just starting. He is the most admirable artist that one 
could meet. I have spent delightful hours in his house. He adores 
Mozart, and knows all his operas by heart. Certainly I do noth- 
ing but erasures today. Excuse me. Goodbye, dear friend, I love 
you always, and think of you every day. 

Ch. 



205. 

To his Family. 

It's stupid, never to finish on the same day as one begins; this 
letter has taken five days to get written. 
[Nohant] 1 October [1845]. 

My dearest ones. 

Yesterday I had your letter, forwarded from Paris, in which 
you tell me of Mamma and the Barcińskis having started. 

Ten days ago I sent a letter to Paris, to Mlle de Rozières, ad- 
dressed to Mamma in Nowy Swiat. 1 I hope Zuzia has been told 
to fetch my letters; if not, take notice that a letter has gone there 
for you, longer than this one, because I put all my news into it. 
You will find in it also a few words for Ludwika from my 
Châtelaine. 2 With this letter I send to Mlle de Rozières, to Paris, 
Ludwika's letter, which she will doubtless answer, as she likes 
writing, though she often has nothing to say; but it is a very 
pleasant fault, and I wish I had it. I am glad you have got half 
of them off to the country, and that Henryk also is in the fresh 
air; but it's a pity you could not arrange that you could go too. 
I feel sure that last year's journey is one of the reasons, and I 
can't be sufficiently angry with myself. But you also have joyful 
memories, so we can be glad of what we have had, and hope 
that we shall meet again before the railway is finished, and that 

1 A street in Warsaw. 

2 George Sand. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Kalasanty will again be bitten by rougets x and have to scratch. 
There are fewer of them this year, and the hypothesis is that 
they overate themselves on Kalasanty last year, and died. 

You have hot weather; here also it was very hot a few days 
ago, but now we have frequent rains, and they are waiting for 
a change for the grain, which is plentiful this year, but will be 
late. Last Sunday was the festival of St. Anne, the local patron 
saint. As the courtyard has been altered, and this year is all 
borders and flowers, all the dances were on the grass in front of 
the church. You remember the village festival at Sarzay, so I 
won't remind you either of bagpipes or of booths, or of various 
kinds of dancers. We have had over a dozen acquaintances here, 
including Ler[oux], about whom Ludwika asked me. He is 
now 8 miles from here, at Boussac, a little town where there is 
a subprefecture, as at Salliatre, in the depart [ment] of the 
Creuze. The townlet is very old, and has a castle on the Creuze 
with ancient associations. Not far off there are Druid stones; 
the district is famous for its beauty. He has a printing license, 
and prints there a daily paper, which is edited here and called 
the Eclaireur. This printing press, however, is not yet worked by 
his new procédé, for, as everyone has a but, his but is that he be- 
gins things, but does not quite finish them. When he has thrown 
off a grand idea, he has had enough. The same with that new 
machine, which he has not finished, or not properly finished. It 
works, but not quite perfectly. It has already cost him and his 
nearest friends (among them especially the owner of M. Coco) 
some scores of thousands, and it needs double the amount, be- 
sides will, and especially perseverance; and the combination of 
all that does not seem likely at this moment. Nevertheless, the 
thing exists, and before very long some exploiteur will take it up, 
and show himself to the world, dressed in borrowed plumes. 
Such persons have already appeared and are still appearing, 
wanting to buy the invention ; but he does not wish that. Besides 
two volumes on hydr. [aulics?] he has many articles in the 
Encyclopaedia and in the Revue where " Consuelo " is. Every- 
thing that he has written belongs together. In the Revue he has 

1 "Harvester" ticks: Leptus autumnalis, common in some parts of France in 
autumn, and causing extreme irritation of the skin. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

several lectures of great value, some unfinished. All these things 
were on the table in the Square d'Orléans. What news can I tell 
you? That Mme Viardot has already gone to the Rhine (on 
Meyerbeer's invitation, given in the name of the King of Prus- 
sia) together with Liszt, Vieuxtemps, etc. The royal family is 
to receive the queen of England, who has gone to Germany with 
her husband, Prince Albert. Mendelssohn is also in Coblenz, 
engaged in musical preparations for his king, because queen 
Victoria is to be received in Stolzenfels. Liszt is to call out the 
hurrahs in Bonn, where the Beethoven monument is to be placed, 
and where also the crowned heads are expected. In Bonn they 
are selling cigars: véritables cigarres à la Beethoven, 1 who prob- 
ably smoked nothing but Viennese pipes ; and there has already 
been such a sale of old bureaus and old desks which belonged to 
Beethoven, that the poor composer de la symphonie pastorale 2 
would have had to drive a huge trade in furniture. It reminds 
one of that concierge at Ferney, who sold such endless numbers 
of Voltaire's walking-sticks. M. Blanqui, a professor, an old 
acquaintance of Kalasanty, has been decorated by the young 
queen of Spain on his return from Madrid, where he was sent 
with M. Salandroure, a manufacturer of fine Aubusson carpets, 
to visit the industry there. Nobody is interested or inquisitive 
about that, but I thought of it because Kalasanty knows him. As 
for mamma's travelling companion [?], 3 she does not need to 
know anyone, she knows everybody. Where is Lorka going? I 
am sorry for Antek Wodz[iński] ; he will soon have a second 
posterity. Méry probably knows about that girl friend ; that she 
was ill and is now better; poor Mme Dupont's husband told me 
about that before I left Paris. Nowak [owski] plays my berceuse, 
and I am glad to know it; it seems to me that I can hear him 
from the distance. Embrace him. The Sonata dedicated to 
Elsn[er] has been published in Vienna by Haslinger; at least, 
he sent me the printed épreuve 4 some years ago to Paris ; but, 
as I did not send them back to him corrected, but merely sent a 
message that I should prefer to have several things changed, he 

1 real Beethoven cigars. 

2 of the pastoral symphony. 

3 The phrase is ambiguous. 

4 proof sheets. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

may have stopped the printing, of which I should be very glad 
— Oh, how time goes ! I don't know how it is, but I can't do any- 
thing of any value, and yet I am not idle. I don't wander from 
corner to corner, as I did with you, I just sit whole days and eve- 
nings in my room. Yet I must finish certain manuscripts before 
leaving here, for I can't compose in winter. Since you left I 
have composed nothing but that sonata. 1 Now I have nothing 
ready for the press except some new mazurkas, and I need to 
have something. I hear the diligences passing the garden; won't 
one of them stop, and won't one of you get out! Write to me 
frankly, whether the marjolaine 2 advice did Ludwika any good, 
also whether Antek Bartolo is perfectly well. Mummy must be 
enjoying the thought of her excursion. But I will say frankly 
that, not knowing her present state of health, I do not dare to 
press her much in winter, with her rheumatism. I leave my joy 
to your wisdom, but I protest with all my soul against all ex- 
cursions. However, if Mummy were to fall ill here, and I were 
ill too, Izabela would come to nurse us, and after Izabela her 
husband, and after them you two; Zuzia and Pani Lutyńska will 
keep Louise. Voilà tout. 3 Tell Ludwika's husband to write to me 
sometimes. Short letters; if he only says: " good day "; I miss 
him in your letters. Tell him always to put the number of the 
house on every letter. I never remember either your number or 
Antol's; I have it written down, but in Paris, so from here I 
always have to address with circumlocution. One must have a 
wooden head, really, to write so many times and never remem- 
ber your number. I am just back from a drive with Sol, who 
took me all over the place in a cabriolet in the company of 
Jacques. Jacques is an enormous dog of a very fine breed, who 
has been given to the Lady of the house to replace old Simon, 
who has aged greatly this year and has a paralysed paw. An in- 
separable friend of the fat Coco, although he comes of a superb 
breed. When it rains, he squeezes himself into the cabriolet, and 
lies down; but however carefully he disposes himself, his head 
gets wet on one side and his tail on the other; he tries to take 
shelter, but he is too big for such advantages. At this moment the 

1 In B minor. 

2 Marjoram was used in domestic medicine. 

3 that's all. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Lady of the house is in the village, together with our neighbour, 
a kind doctor, visiting a sick man, who in his delirium wants to 
insist on going out, to a woman a few miles from here, who 
remet les fourchettes de l'estomac; 1 it is impossible to persuade 
him. Someone wrote to me from Paris that Artot, the violinist, is 
dead. That boy, so strong and healthy, with those big bones and 
broad shoulders, died of consumption in Ville d'Avray a few 
weeks ago. When I was in Ville d'Avray before leaving here 
(we passed through there on our way to Versailles), going to 
visit my goddaughter, Albrecht's child, I travelled with Mme 
Damoreau. She was nursing him, and told me then that he was 
very ill. I am sorry for Mme Damoreau, for she was really at- 
tached to him. The year before last they travelled together to 
America. No one, seeing us two, would guess that he would die 
first, and of consumption. Jan, according to his custom, has for 
a quarter of an hour been ringing for dinner. (The Lady of the 
house once promised him that she will pour cold water over him 
if he goes on ringing so long.) I must shave, for I have a big 
beard, so I must once more leave this letter. I have shaved, but 
it doesn't make me any fatter, though they tell me here that I 
have put on flesh ; anyhow, I am far from rivalling poor Okołow. 
Embrace his sister-in-law (if I am not mistaken) with whom I 
often played 4-hand duets in the Miodowa Street, where I used 
often to see Panna Czajk[owska]. Write to me about my god- 
parents. Embrace the Pruszaks. Shake the hand of my old col- 
league Polec. Tell Eisner to come here to Néris to get his leg 
cured. Is Dobrzyński going to Paris? I can believe that he was 
successful with Meyerbeer. I am glad that you will hear David's 
symphony. 2 Except for a few genuine Arabian songs, the only 
merit of the rest is the orchestration. But what surprises me is 
that with you they are making costumes and decorations for it, 
whereas here it was performed by people in black frock-coats, 
sitting on benches with their music in their hands or on the 
music stands. Such a thing had not occurred to his greatest 
admirers (who are steadily diminishing in numbers, as usually 
happens after such an engouement). 3 Notice the song of the 

1 puts back one's brisket. 

2 Le Desert, which had a great vogue in its time 

3 Infatuation. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Muezzin (that is what they call the man who sings every hour 
from the turret of the mosque, according to the Arabian re- 
ligious custom) ; at the first concert here, the Arabs from 
Algiers wagged their heads and smiled for joy at that tune. 
Very soon I will write again to say that I love you heartily. 
I should like to write a lot, but I should not know from which 
end to begin if I were going to talk to you by letter the way we 
talked sitting over our chocolate side by side in my room in the 
morning. I embrace you all most heartily. 

[In a postscript] The good Franchomme has written to me 
and asks to be remembered to you. [Next two lines by Mme 
Sand, in French:] Good day, my dear; we love you, we kiss 
you affectionately ; may the good God bless you always. [In 
Chopin's hand:] She did not want to let this letter go without 
putting in a word. You are such dear folk (I write in the plural, 
because you are all so). M. Brunei, the engineer (French by 
birth) who built the tunnel under the Thames in London, has now 
invented, among other works, a new locomotive, by means of 
which it will be possible to go 50 English miles an hour. The 
machine will run on eight wheels. That will not make railway 
travelling pleasing. Sol, who has just brought me some chocolate 
for a snack, tells me to embrace Ludwika. She is very good- 
hearted. I am not surprised that you do not know Isidore, 1 for 
it has not yet come out in book form. Teverino x is to begin com- 
ing out next month as a feuilleton in the paper: " La Presse." 
N. B. Feuilletons have no connection avec le corps 2 of the paper, 
which takes a quite opposite view of many things. 

1 novels of Mme Sand. 

2 with the paper itself. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 
206. 

To the Same. 

Paris. Friday, 12 December [1845], 

My dearest ones, 

I have received your last letter, in which you write that you 
are all well except Barteczek, and that even he is much better; 
and that Mummy is standing the winter fairly well. Here it is 
not yet very cold, but dark and damp. Mme S [and] returned 
on Tuesday with her son and daughter, and I have been here 
for two weeks. As you may remember, I usually come back first ; 
and this year especially, as I had to get rid of Jan and engage 
another manservant. [A footnote:] For the last year he has been 
wanting to go every month, but always protesting with tears that 
he loves me dearly; and I would not have dismissed him, but 
that he irritated the others. The children used to make fun of 
him. Up to the last he was hoping that Susanne would be sent 
away; every day he used to thank me. [Letter continues:] It's 
a serious matter for me, because I must have someone really 
decent; but my friend Albrecht has found me a Frenchman, 
Pierre, very honest and skilful, and I hope a loyal person, who 
has been 7 years in the service of the parents of my E flat major 
waltz. 1 He is very clean, rather slow, but so far has not made me 
feel impatient. Ludwika, who knows Nohant, may be interested 
to know that Luce, that little girl, Franchise's daughter, is now 
with her lady, as well as Susanne; or rather with Solange. A 
propos of all that Ludwika asks about in her letter, it's all lies 
and has no resemblance to the truth. Lr. [Leroux] is in excel- 
lent health ; the children have had measles, and Maurice was to 
have gone in a few days, but is not going, as it is not a suitable 
time, to his father, who has not left his estates in Gascony all 
the summer. [A footnote:] Never believe evil rumours; there 
are plenty of folk in the world who cannot rest if they see any- 
one happy. [Letter continues:] Before I arrived here, but after 
I left Nohant, Mme S. was in Chenonceaux, near Tours, staying 
with her de Villeneuve cousins. Chenonceaux Castle is renowned 

1 Mr. and Mrs. Horsford. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

all over France; it was built in the time of François I by the 
famous traitrant (the bankers of those days) Thomas Boyer, who 
took a long time to build it ; it is built in the middle of the river 
Cher. In the arcades on which the castle stands, there are huge 
kitchens, so you can imagine what a structure. François I, in- 
heriting from this banker, lived in it, and many things remain 
from his time. Later, Catherine de Medicis lived there constantly 
(here they use this castle in the decorations of the second act of 
the Huguenots; I think Ludwika saw it) ; the wife of our Valois 
also spent her widowhood there. All the rooms are kept with 
furniture of the period, which probably costs a pretty penny 
every year to keep up. In the time of Louis XV, or perhaps of 
the Regency, it fell after Vendôme to M. Dupin (de Fran- 
cueil), to whom Rousseau was secretary. This M. Dupin was 
Mme S.'s grandfather, the one whose portrait hangs over the 
fireplace in the big downstairs room next to the dining-room at 
Nohant. Mme Dupin, his first wife, was famous for her intellect 
and beauty ; and in her day everything that the last century had 
of brains foregathered in Chenonceaux; Voltaire, and Mably, 
and so on, and so on. There are a lot of Montesquieu's manu- 
scripts, too. Rousseau speaks of Mme de Francueil in his Con- 
fessions. At Chenonceaux there are boxes of his correspondence 
with her ; very interesting, but probably they will never be pub- 
lished. Mme S. had found several manuscripts by Mme Dupin, 
probably of great interest, especially beautifully written. Also 
Rousseau's opera {Le Devin du village)? of which it is said 
that M. Francueil wrote the overture, was played for the first 
time in the theatre of the château. You doubtless know that 
Rousseau wrote poetry and music which had a great success 
70 years ago. Certain things in that opera have taken root, and 
are fairly well known in France. I have told you about Chenon- 
ceaux, now about Paris. Gavary sends best greetings to Ludw. 
and Jędrz. (he sends her Massillon, his own work) ; so the Fran- 
chommes. I dined at both houses before Mme S. arrived, and 
we talked a lot about you both. I am already starting my tread- 
mill. Today I have given only one lesson, to Mme Rothschild, 
and have excused myself from two, as I had other work. My 
1 The Village Soothsayer. 

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new mazurkas have corne out in Berlin at Stern's, so I don't know 
whether they will reach you ; you, who in Warsaw generally get 
your music from Leipsic. They are not dedicated to anyone. I 
should like now to finish my violoncello sonata, barcarole and 
something else that I don't know how to name ; * but I doubt 
whether I shall have time, for the rush is beginning. I have 
received many inquiries whether I will give a concert, but I 
doubt it. Liszt has arrived from the provinces, where he has 
been giving concerts; I found his card in the house. Meyerbeer 
also is here. I was to have gone today to an evening at Leo's 
to see him there, but we are going to the opera, to the new ballet 
(new for Mme S.) : Le diable à quatre, in which the costumes 
are ours. I am writing to you now after the ballet, on Saturday 
morning. Nothing is changed at the opera; it's just as it was 
when you were there. As yet we have seen nothing else ; neither 
the Italian theatre where they give Verdi's music, nor Mme 
Dorval in the new drama: Marie Jeanne, which is said to be one 
of her best parts. Today is December 17th. I broke off this letter 
and could not sit down to it again till today. Here it's a very dark 
and horrid day. Today is to be the first performance at the Grand 
Opera of an opera by Balfe, the man who wrote: " The four sons 
of Aymon " (I think we saw it together at the Opéra Comique). 
The title of today's one is " The Star of Seville." [A footnote:] 
The Cid, but not after Corneille, only after Calderon. [Letter 
continues:] The poem is by M. Hypolyte [sic] Lucas (an in- 
ferior feuilleton-wiiter). People don't expect much of it. Balfe 
is an Englishman, who has been in Italy and has passed through 
France. Tomorrow at the Italiens: Gemma di Vergi. But yester- 
day all of us, including Luce, went to the Porte St. Martin thea- 
tre, where they played a new drama by M. Dennery (not very 
good) ; in which Mme Dorval plays remarkably. The title is 
Marie Jeanne. It's a girl of the people, who marries an artisan ; 
through his misconduct she is left in penury with an infant son, 
and, to save the life of her child, for whom she has no food, in 
despair, she takes the baby to the enfants trouvés. 2 The scene is 
finely given. Everybody blubbers ; you hear nothing but blowing 

1 Karłowicz supposes this reference to be to the Polonaise-Fantasia. [Op.] 

2 Foundling hospital. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

of noses all over the hall. From her youth up Mme Dorval has 
had no such part, anyhow not since: " Ten years of a gambler's 
life." 

Sunday, 21 December. Since I wrote the last line, I have 
been to Balf e's opera ; it is not good at all. They sing most excel- 
lently, and I hated to hear such gifts wasted, when Meyerbeer 
(who sat quietly in a box, reading the libretto) has two operas 
quite ready: " Le Prophète " and " U Africaine " Both are in 
5 acts ; but he does not want to give them to the opera without a 
new singer, and Mme Stolz, who governs the director, will allow 
no better singer than herself. The decorations are fine, the cos- 
tumes very rich. I have sent through Gliicksberg two volumes for 
Ludwika and Izabela : the Old and New Testaments with English 
engravings. The engravings have been regarded here as fine; 
they are from the most famous masters of the old and new 
schools: Rafael, Rubens, Poussin. Many of the pictures are here 
in the Louvre; perhaps Ludwika will remember them. For 
Anton, who has no children, I have sent a little volume of 
Gavarni's drawings, des enfants terribles, and so on, so that he 
may laugh, and remember the light and silly wit of Paris. For 
Kalasanty Grandville's drawings illustrating proverbs. Grand- 
ville was the first to begin a career of this kind and no one has 
understood it better than Gavarni. You have probably seen 
Grandville's Lafontaine. 

24 December. You see, there is no keeping one's head on his 
shoulders here, before New Year. The doorbell never leaves off 
tinkling. Today the entire household has colds. That I cough 
insufferably is not surprising; but the Lady of the house has a 
cold, and her throat hurts, so that she has to keep her room, 
which makes her very impatient. The better health people usu- 
ally have, the less patience they have in bodily suffering. There 
is no remedy for that in the world ; even intellect is no help. All 
Paris is coughing this week. Last night there was a huge tempête, 
thunder and lightning, hail and snow; the Seine is enormous; 
it is not very cold, but intolerably wet. Klengel, from Dresden, 
is here, with Pani Niesolowska. He called on me and I have 
promised to call on her. Perhaps it had better not be mentioned. 
Liszt also called on me; he has separated from Mme Calergis, 

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and I see, from my questions, that there has been more talk 
than fact. 

Tytus's brother has been here; he is better, and has gone to 
Italy. He told me a lot about Tytus, and I liked him very much. 
Embrace Tytus. Gutmann you have doubtless already seen. 
Łaski, whom I saw at the opera, can also tell you that he saw 
me in good health. Here the new year is starting badly on ac- 
count of the weather; the shopkeepers complain that there are 
fewer flaneurs 1 than usual. I have still not ventured into the 
town for my shopping. I must find something for my god- 
daughter, and meanwhile my godson will get nothing this year; 
but that is a long way off! I should like to leave him a grand 
fortune, but that, somehow, is not in my nature. I'll think about 
it some time, when I go to bed and can't sleep. I have tried over 
part of my violoncello sonata with Franchomme, and it goes 
well. I don't know whether I shall have time to print it this year. 
Fryderyk's wife's uncle came to see me lately. He is a dear and 
good soul; has grown younger, plays the fiddle, he tells me, as 
he did in his youth; and does not cough. He is healthy, kind 
and witty; bears himself simply and well, wears no wig, only 
his own grey hair; in a word, is still so handsome, that the young 
folk of today may well look old beside him. Méry has not writ- 
ten to me for a very long time and I have no news of him. The 
beloved being is not well. Today is Christmas Eve (Our Lady 
of the Star) . 2 They don't know that here. They eat dinner at the 
usual hour: 6, 7, or 8, and only a few foreign families keep up 
those customs. For instance, yesterday Mme Stockhausen did 
not come to the dinner at the Perthuis' (of my sonata), because 
she was busy with preparations for the children, for today. All 
the protestant families keep Christmas Eve, but most Parisians 
make no difference between today and yesterday. We have a sad 
Christmas Eve here, because she is ill and will not have a 
doctor; her cold is very bad, and she has had to go to bed. Every- 
body curses the climate of Paris ; they forget that in the country 
in winter it is still worse, and that winter is winter everywhere. 
These two or three months are hard to get through. I often ask 



1 idlers. 

2 A Polish name for Christmas Eve. 



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myself how people of impatient temper can live under a sky 
even more inclement than this one. Sometimes I would give 
years of my life for a few hours of sunshine. I have outlived so 
many persons younger and stronger than I, that I think I must 
be immortal. Vernet's daughter, the wife of Delaroche, who did 
the hémicycle at the Palais des Beaux Arts, died a few days ago. 
All Paris grieves for her. She was a person of really delicate 
intelligence, quite young, and pretty, though very thin. All the 
celebrities here were guests in her house ; everyone adored her ; 
she was happy in her domestic life, rich and respected. Her 
father was at the head of the mourners, and blubbered like a 
calf; there was a moment when they thought the mother would 
lose her reason. — 26 December. Yesterday and today Mme S. 
has been in bed here, with a sore throat. She is a little better. In 
a few days she will probably be all right, but meanwhile I have 
no more time to write to you. Sol also has a cold; and I worst 
of all. I embrace you all heartily. Don't ever worry about me; 
the Lord is good to me. I love you. Happy New Year to you and 
all friends. 

F. Ch. 

[In a postscript:] 

Mme S. embraces Ludwika. I send a note from Mlle de Ro- 
zières. I have no time to read over what I have written. 



207. 
[In French] 
To Mlle de Rozières. 

Thanks a thousand times for your good letter. Here is mine 
for my mother. It is hot weather. The glacière will be welcome. 
Thank you once more. Everyone is well. We expect Maurice 
soon. My kindest respects. 

Ch. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

If you are ever sending anything here, would you please in- 
clude my little score of the Mozart Requiem, which I left at 
No. 5 (or No. 9), and which is with the Stabat. 

Nohant, Whitsuntide, 1846. 

She sends you a thousand loves and will write to you. 



208. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Nohant, Saturday [Postmark: La Châtre, 2 September 1846]. 

I send you, dear Mlle de Rozières, a very urgent so-called 
manuscript (you will find in it blank music paper at your 
service) ; it is a fraud, to induce Pierre to bring the touton 
Havannais. 1 Give it to Pierre only on the morning of his de- 
parture, which should be Wednesday, the 22nd, at half past 7, 
from Nôtre Dame de Victoire [sic]. Be so kind as to do your 
utmost to make it reach Mme Sand complete. I rely on your 
affection for her. Louise embraces you. Thanks, thanks in ad- 
vance for your kindness. Please also examine Pierre's list of 
commissions, so that he may forget nothing. Goodbye, good day, 
good evening, good night ; I press your hand. 

Yours faithfully, 

Ch. 



209. 
[On paper with the initials: G. S.] 

To his Family. 

Begun a dozen times; today I will send it. I enclose a line 
for Ludwika from the Lady of the house. 

1 A mixture of French and Polish: tytuh = tobacco. 

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chopin's letters 

Sunday, 11 October 1846. 

Ch. de Nohant, at the table by the piano. 

My dearest Ones. 

No doubt you are already back from your holidays. All at 
home; Mummy back from Panna Józefa; and Ludwika from 
the Ciech[omskis'], and the Antons from the gardens of the 
mineral springs, with a new stock of health for the winter. 
Here we have had such a beautiful summer as I cannot re- 
member for a long time ; and, though it is not a very fertile year, 
and in some districts there is anxiety about the winter, here 
they do not complain, as the vineyard harvest is particularly 
good; in Burgundy it is even better than in the year 1811, 
for qualité, but not for quantité. Yesterday the Lady of the house 
made jam here, from the kind of grapes known as Alexandrian. 
It is a kind with very large clusters of muscat form ; but in this 
climate it does not ripen perfectly, and therefore is excellent for 
jam. There is not much of any other fruit; but thick foliage, still 
very green, and abundance of flowers. There is a new gardener. 
Old Pierre, whom the Jędrzejewiczes saw, has been dismissed, 
in spite of his 40 years' [service], even from the Grandmother's 
days; and so has the good Françoise, Luce's mother: the two 
most old established servants. God grant that they may please 
the young man and the new cousin better. Sol, who has been 
very unwell, is now quite strong again ; and who knows whether, 
in a few months, I may not write to tell you that she is to be 
married to that handsome boy whom I mentioned to you in my 
last letter. The whole summer has been spent here on various 
drives and excursions in the unknown district of the Vallée 
Noire. I was not de la partie, for these things tire me more than 
they are worth. I am so weary, so depressed, that it reacts on 
the mood of the others, and the young folk enjoy things better 
without me. I did not go to Paris, as I expected to do, but I had 
a very good opportunity to send my musical manuscripts, so 
I took advantage of it and did not have to move. But I expect 
to be in the Square in a month, and hope still to catch No- 
wak [ o wski], about whom I know only from Mlle de Rozières, 
that he left a card in my lodging. I should like to see him. But 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

he is not wanted here. He will remind me of many things. And 
then, we can talk Polish: Jan is no longer here, and since Lorka 
left, I have not spoken a word in my own tongue. I write to 
you about Lorka. Though she was courteously received here, 
there has been no kindly memory of her since she left. The 
cousin did not like her, therefore the son did not; so there were 
jokes, and from jokes it went on to insults, and as I did not like 
that, we don't mention her at all. It needed so fine a soul as 
Ludwika to leave a good memory behind her with everyone 
here. More than once the Lady of the house said to me in Lorka's 
presence: — " Votre sœur vaut cent fois mieux que vous " ; x 
to which I replied : — " Je crois bien." 2 Let Izabela tell me 
whether Anton's parents are still alive, and various things of 
the sort. Jaś has written, after eight years; lamenting that he 
did not listen to me, but saying that now he is working as best 
he can, and trying to make use of the knowledge that he ac- 
quired long ago in Grignon. He is well, and well-intentioned; 
he lives in Gascony, and works. I have written to him and hope 
to write again. Today the sun is shining beautifully and they 
have gone for a drive ; I did not want to go, and am making use 
of the time to have a chat with you. That little dog, Marquis, 
has stayed behind with me, and is lying on my sofa. He is a 
remarkable creature: his coat is like marabou, and pure white; 
Mme S [and] attends to him herself every day, and he is as 
clever as you please. He even has originalities which are quite 
enigmatic. For instance, he will never eat or drink from any 
gilded vessel; he pushes with his head, and overturns it if he can. 
I have read in the Presse, among other names, that of my 
godfather, as a member of the Frankfort congress of prison 
workers. If he should come as far as Paris, I should like to see 
him; I will write to Mlle de Rozières, asking her, if she should 
find such a card at my concierge's, to let mejknow at once. 
Among other news, you have probably already heard of M. Le- 
verrier's new planet. Leverrier, of the Paris observatory, no- 
ticing certain irregularities in the planet Uranus, ascribed them 
to some other planet, still unknown, and described its distance, 

1 Your sister is worth a hundred of you. 

2 I should think so. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

direction, size: in a word, everything, just as Galle in Berlin 
and — [Adam] in London have now observed it. What a tri- 
umph for science, to be able to arrive at such a discovery by 
means of calculation. At the last sitting of the Academy of Sci- 
ence, M. Arago proposed that the new planet should be named 
Leverrier, but suggested calling it Janus. M. Leverrier would 
prefer Neptune. But in disagreement with a certain proportion 
of the Academy of Science, many were in favour of naming 
the planet after the discoverer who proved the thing purely by 
force of calculation: a feat unheard of until now in the history 
of astronomy; and as there are comets called Vico and Hind, 
and Uranus was called Herschel, why should there not be a 
planet Leverrier? The king at once made him an officer of the 
le gion of honour. Also you have doubtless heard of the inven- 
tion of la poudre de coton 1 by Herr Schônbein. Here people are 
curious about it, but have not seen it yet. But in London, experi- 
ments made in the presence of Prince Albert (the Queen's 
husband) confirmed the statement that it is stronger, makes no 
smoke, is not greasy or dirty, and if soaked with water regains 
its force after drying. The explosion is much quicker than with 
ordinary powder; because, when it is placed on the ordinary 
kind, l'explosion a lieu, 2 and the other does not even catch fire. 
But I am writing scientific things to you, as if you had not 
Antek, or Bełza. Wish the latter joy in his new status. Lord, 
how pleased Matusz [yński] would have been about that. There 
is not a day that I do not think of him. I have not now one of 
my school friends left in Paris. But à propos of inventions, here 
is one more, which is more de mon domaine. 3 Mr. Faber, in 
London (a professor of mathematics), a mechanician, has ex- 
hibited a very ingenious automaton, which he calls Euphonia, 
and which pronounces fairly clearly not one or two words, but 
long sentences, and, still more surprising, sings an air of Hay- 
den [sic] and God save the Queen. If the directors of opera 
could have many such androids, they could do without chorus 
singers, who cost a lot and give a lot of trouble. It's a strange 
thing, to get to that by means of levers, bellows, valves, little 

1 guncotton. 

2 the explosion takes place. 

3 in my line. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

chains [an undecipherable word], pipes, springs, etc., etc. I 
once wrote to you about Vaucanson's drake, which digested 
what it ate ; Vaucanson also made an android that played on the 
flute. But until now no machine has sung God save the Queen 
with the words. Two months ago this Euphonia was exhibited 
in Egyptian Hall, which, as Bartek knows, is a place given up 
to various curiosities. A great rival of the Italian opera is being 
prepared in London for next year. Sefior Salamanca, a Spanish 
banker, a member of the Chamber of [ ? ], has taken a 
lease of a theatre called Covent Garden; one of the largest thea- 
tres in London, but one that has never had much success, on 
account of its site, which is far away from the fashionable 
world. Mr. Lumley, the general director of the Royal Italian 
theatre, which is recognized by the whole London world as the 
elegant one, did not hurry himself over engaging his usual 
singers for next year; he felt quite sure of having them in his 
theatre with its silken hangings. Salamanca has got ahead of 
him, and has engaged, at higher salaries, Grisi, and Mario, and 
Persiani; in a word, all, except Lablache. So there will be two 
theatres. Mr. Lumley is said to have engaged, besides Lablache, 
Miss Lind, and Pischek (of whom Berlioz said that he is the 
best Don Juan) — [?] So, as fashion and elegance count for 
more in London than any wonders of art, next saison will be in- 
teresting. It is said that the old opera (that is Mr. Lumley's) 
will hold out, for toutes les chances sont x that the Queen will 
frequent it as usual. The Parisian opera has not yet given Ros- 
sini's operas. Habeneck, the conductor of the orchestra, has had 
a bad attack of apoplexy, which has compelled him to refrain 
from conducting for a few months. But he is now well again, 
and M. Pillet (the conductor) has been waiting partly for him. 
The Italians have already started in Paris. Coletti, a baritone, 
who is new to Paris, has appeared in " Semiramide," and is 
very well spoken of. He is young and good-looking, apart from 
his talent, and various tales have been going round about him for 
some time. His father had trained him for the church, but he 
left Rome, and became an actor in Naples. In Lisbon he spent 
several years, turning women's heads, it is said; and (if what 
1 all the chances are. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

one used to hear about that is true) two ladies fought a duel over 
him there; if, with all that, he really sings very well, he ought 
to do. I doubt whether duels will be fought over him in Paris, 
but they will pay him well, better than in Portugal. He has also 
sung with success in Madrid, where a great festival is now in 
preparation for the wedding of the Queen with her cousin, and 
of the Infanta, her sister, with the last son of King Philippe, the 
duke of Montpensier. Dumas, M. Maquet (a young author, who 
writes his feuilletons for him under his directions) and Louis 
Boulanger, a well known painter, have been sent from here to- 
gether by the minister of education, M. Salvandy, with the mis- 
sion of describing and painting all the ceremonies and events. 
There is a great deal of talk about the presents which the duke 
of Montp[ensier] is to bring for his betrothed. The Queen (who 
is very fat, though young) is preparing for her bridegroom, be- 
sides the throne, a collar of the golden fleece in diamonds, and 
also a very rich sword with a diamond hilt, dont la lame a servi 
à Charles III, et le bâton de capitaine général. 1 17 gorgeous car- 
riages are being prepared, to take the bridal party to the Atoch 
[sic] church, where both marriages are to be solemnized to- 
gether, and for the journey to Madrid from Aranjuez (which is 
pronounced Aranhuez). It's about like Versailles here. If such 
descriptions amuse you, you probably have them by Dmuszew- 
ski, in your papers. You doubtless know that the Infanta is not 
yet quite 15 years old, and that she is better looking than the 
Queen. Next month her husband will bring her back to Paris, 
where there is to be a ball in the Hôtel de Ville and various other 
festivities. If I see her, I will tell you whether she is as beauti- 
ful as the duchess of Joinville (a Brazilian princess), who is the 
beauty of the family: tall, pale, dark, with large eyes. Mile 
Rachel, who is said to have wanted to resign from the French 
Theatre on account of illness, is better, and they say that she 
will soon appear again. You know that Walewski has married 
Signorina Ricci, an Italian, whose mother was a Poniatowska, 
the sister of that musical amateur who writes operas in Vienna, 
and who has now been in Paris, where Pillet has given him a 
poem for a grand opera. The poem is by the Dumas, father and 
1 the blade of which belonged to Charles III, and a fieldmarshal's bâton. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

son. For Dumas, though still young, has a son (from before his 
marriage), who is also a writer. I don't know the title of Ponia- 
towski's new opera, but it is to be performed this winter. 

Today we have thunder here, and it's rather hot. The gardener 
is transplanting flowers. Some additional land has been bought 
for the Jardin des Plantes at a cost of something over 9 thou- 
sands, adjoining, among other terrains? some which once be- 
longed to Buffon. All the same, it will never be on a hill and 
above the Wisła [Vistula], like your beautiful situation. The 
giraffe, which, I think, was still there, for the Jędrzejewiczes to 
see, is dead. I wish I never had any other sad news to write. This 
year I have received more notices of weddings than of deaths; 
except old count de Sabran, whom I liked very much; about 
whom I perhaps wrote to you 8 years ago ; who wrote charming 
fables, or rather invented them orally, for he wrote nothing, 
or very little ; he imitated some of Krasicki's. His was the only 
funeral invitation I have received. But I have seen one of my girl 
pupils married in Bordeaux, another in Genoa : in Genoa, where 
they are only now putting a monument to Christopher Columbus, 
who was born there. I must have written to you from there about 
the palace which still bears his name and écusson. 2 Mme Viardot 
is in Berlin with her husband and mother. She has not been here 
this year. In a month she will be in Paris, where I expect to see 
her, and will then return to Berlin, where she is engaged for the 
winter. It is said that, besides Grisi and Persiani, Salamanca has 
engaged her for next summer in London, but I know nothing 
about that directement. I should like to fill up my letter with good 
news, but I know none, except that I love you and love you. I 
play a little, I write a little. Sometimes I am satisfied with my 
violoncello sonata, sometimes not. I throw it into the corner, 
then take it up again. I have three new mazurkas, 3 I don't think 
they have the old [word illegible] ; but for that one must have 
time to judge rightly. When one does a thing, it appears good, 
otherwise one would not write it. Only later comes reflection, and 
one discards or accepts the thing. Time is the best censor, and 

1 sites. 

2 coat of arms. 

3 B major, F minor, and C sharp minor; dedicated to Countess Czosnoska; 
published in 1847. [Op.] 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

patience a most excellent teacher. I hope soon to have a letter 
from you; but I am not worrying, and I know that, with your 
large family, it is difficult for you to get round to writing to me, 
especially as, between us, the pen is not enough; I don't even 
know how many years we should have to spend talking, pour 
être au bout de notre latin, 1 as they say here. So don't be sur- 
prised, or grieved, if you don't get letters from me, because it 
will be for the same reason as with you; the pleasure of writing 
to you is mixed with a certain annoyance: the conviction that 
there are no words between us, scarcely even things. My greatest 
happiness is to know about your health and state of mind. Always 
keep hopeful thoughts ; you 2 have children to be a comfort to 
you (I write in the plural, because I know what the Antons are 
to their sister's children) ; and of the Grandmother [illegible] 
one need not speak! If only you keep you health, all is well. 
I am fairly well here, as the weather is good. The winter is 
approaching mildly, and with care should pass harmlessly like 
last one ; thank the Lord that things are no worse. So many folk 
have a worse time. True, many have a better time, but I don't 
think about them. I have written to Mlle de Rozières to ask the 
tapisseur 3 to put in the carpets, curtains and doorhangings. It 
will soon be time to think of the treadmill, that is : the lessons. 
I shall probably leave here with Arago, and leave the Lady of 
the house to stay on for some time, as her son and daughter are 
in no hurry to return to town. Last year there was a question 
of spending the winter in Italy, but the young ones preferred 
the country. But in the spring, if Sol or Maurice should get 
married (both things are in the wind) she may change her plans. 
This is between ourselves. It will probably end that way this 
year. The boy is 24, the daughter 18. But let all this remain 
between us. It is 5 o'clock, and so dark that I can scarcely see. 
I must end this letter. In a month I will write to you from Paris. 
Meanwhile I look forward to having a chat about you with 
Nowak. Embrace Tytus if you see him, and the lodger Karol; 
and my godfather, when he returns ; and if next year he should 

1 at the end of our Latin. 

2 In these family letters, except for messages to one individual or another, the 
plural pronoun: Wy (you) is employed, instead of: Ty (thou). 

3 upholsterer. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

go to Brussels for a congress like this year's one in Frankfort — 
that is where it is to be — , I have great hope of seeing him, 
for the railway has long been finished. Write to me about the 
Jozios too, and about all our good friends. 

I embrace you most heartily, and I kiss Mummy's hands and 
feet. 

Ch. 

[In a postscript:] I am sorry for this empty sheet of paper that 
goes to you with nothing on it; but if I don't send this now à la 
hâte, I shall begin again tomorrow and never get finished. I am 
sending it by Mlle de Rozières, who will slip in a card for Lud- 
wika, as usual. I embrace you all most heartily. 



210. 
[In French] 
To Messrs. Breitkopf and Hartel in Leipsic. 

I, the undersigned, Fred. Chopin, domiciled in Paris at 34 
rue St. Lazare, acknowledge that I have sold to Messrs. Breitkopf 
and Haertel in Leipsic the rights of the following works com- 
posed by me; namely: 

Op. 60 Barcarole for Piano 
Op. 61 Polonaise for Piano 
Op. 62 Two Nocturnes for Piano 

I declare that I have ceded this property to the said firm for 
all time and all countries including Russia and excepting France 
and England and I acknowledge that I have received the price 
agreed upon, for which a separate receipt has been given. Paris, 
19th November 1846. 

Fr. Chopin 



313 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
211. 

[In French] 

To Mme George Sand. 

Wednesday, 3 o'clock [25 November 1846]. 

I trust that your headache is over and that you are now bet- 
ter than ever. I am very glad that all your company has returned, 
and I wish you fine weather. Here it is dark and damp, and 
one cannot avoid colds. Grzym. is better. He had an hour's 
sleep yesterday for the first time in seventeen days. I have seen 
Delacroix, who sends a thousand kind messages to all of you. He 
is suffering, but he goes to his work at the Luxembourg. Yester- 
day evening I went to Mme Marliani. She was just going out 
with Mme Scheppard, M. Aubertin (who has had the audacity 
to read your: " Mare au diable " 1 aloud in college as an ex- 
ample of style), and M. Arpentigny. They were going to hear 
a new prophet. He is not an apostle. His new religion is that of 
the Fusionists ; 2 their prophet had a révélation in the Meudon 
wood, and saw God. He promises, as the highest happiness in 
a certain eternity, that there shall be no more sex. This idea 
does not greatly please Mme M [arliani] , but the captain is for it, 
and declares that the baroness en ribotte, 3 every time that she 
makes fun of his fusionism. Tomorrow I will send you the fur 
and the other things you want. The price of your piano is nine 
hundred francs. I have not seen Arago, but he must be well, 
because he was out when Pierre took him your letter. Please 
thank Marquis for his laments at my door. Be happy and well. 
Write when you need anything. 

Your devoted 

Ch. 

1 The Devil's Pool; one of G. Sand's stories of Berrichon life. 

2 The name Fusionists, applied to a political coalition, was not used till after 
the revolution of 1848. 

3 raves over it. 



314 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

To your dear children. 

I have your letter, which has come six hours late. It is good, 
good and perfect. Well then, I will not send your things to- 
morrow, I will wait. Won't you send me your cloak to have it 
attended to here? Have you any workwomen who could do it? 
Then, I await your instructions. I am very glad the sweets were 
a success. I am lacking in steel and flint but I do not know 
whether I have enough tinder. I will take this letter to the big 
post office before going to see Grzym. 



212. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Paris, 12 December 1846. Saturday, half past two. 

How nice of your salon it is to be warm, and of the snow at 
Nohant to be charming, and of the young people to hold a carni- 
val! Have you a sufficient choice of quadrilles for the orchestra? 
Borie has been to see me ; I will send him the piece of cloth that 
you mention. Grzym. has almost recovered, but now Pleyel has 
a relapse of fever. He has become invisible. I am very glad that 
our bad weather here has not made itself felt with you. Be happy 
and well, you and yours. 

Ch. 
To your dear children. I am well. 



213. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Tuesday, half past two. Paris, 15 December 1846. 

Mlle de Rozières has found the piece of cloth in question (it 
was in Mile Aug[ustine]'s coat box), and I sent it on yesterday 

315 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

evening to Borie, who, according to what he told Pierre, is not 
starting today. Here we have just a gleam of sunshine, and Rus- 
sian snow. I am very glad of this weather for you, and I imagine 
you walking a lot. Did Dib dance at yesterday's pantomime? 
Keep well, you and yours. 

Always devotedly yours. 

To your dear children. 

I am well, but I have not the courage to leave my fireplace for 
a moment. 



214. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
[End of December 1846.] 

I saw the Princess at 5, and she asked me to tell you that she 
could not carry out your commission today between 5 and 6, 
but hopes to do so tomorrow! 

I could not come to you, because Wlad. Plater 1 platerized me 
right up to this moment about the Mazurkas that were to be 
played at a ball. Dinner now, and then several evenings of great 
grief await me. 

Till next year, then; 

May it be better than this. 

Ch. 



215. 

To the Same. 
[Undated.] 

I had just addressed and sealed my letter, when yours came, 
before I had put your name. About Plichcina : she is to come to 

1 Count Władislaw Plater 1806-1869. Emigrated after the failure of the in- 
surrection of 1830, and founded the Polish national museum at Rapperswyl, 
Switzerland. 

316 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

me (and I to her, if I can) — but you know that I can't count 
on myself at all now. And, besides, she will surely spend her re- 
maining moments in Paris otherwise than on such visits as mine. 
Anyhow, it is possible that we may not meet, so it will be best 
if you write clearly, not to her son through her, but to her, tell- 
ing her what she is to say to her son ; or, if you like, write to me 
clearly (from your last letter I should not have known what to 
say to Plichcina) . So write to me clearly, calling a spade a spade, 
without mincing matters, what Plichcina is to say and do, and 
I will at once write to her if I am unable to leave here. Only 
make haste. 

Your 

Ch. 

216. 

To the Same. 
[Undated.} 

I'm as sick as a dog; that is why I didn't come to you. I know 
you are always on the island now, for the ball. 1 Tomorrow morn- 
ing before 10 I will send you the remaining tickets that are 
not disposed of. And if I can, I'll go to the ball. They are com- 
ing from Nohant on Saturday evening, probably for dinner. So, 
if not tomorrow, I shall see you the day after. 

Ask your kind garde 2 to return my dressing-gown if she has 
mended it. 

I embrace you heartily. 

Ch. 
Thursday evening. 



217. 

[Without date or address; probably to Krystyn Ostrowski. The 
date 1846 has been added in another hand. Original in Rappers- 
wil Museum Library.} 

1 The Czartoryski family frequently gave balls at the Hôtel Lambert on the 
Isle St. Louis in Paris. 

2 garde-malade: sick-nurse. 

317 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I return with many thanks the letters which you kindly en- 
trusted to me, and if you will be writing shortly to Pan Hanka, 
please thank him for his kind remembrance and for the music 
that he has sent to me. 

I regret that the bad weather forbids me to thank you per- 
sonally. 

F. Chopin 



218. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
[ Undated. ] 

My Life 

H. Lucas has sent by Louis Blanc a box for today for Mme 
Sand. So, as she wishes to take her cousin with her to the box, 
let me come to you for the 3rd act. 

During the first two I shall sit by the fire. 
I embrace you most heartily. 

Ever yours, 

Ch. 

The number of her box is 6, the first tier. 



219. 

To the Same. 
[Undated.] 

My Life. 

I remind you about a ticket for the Chamber of Deputies for 
my kind Gutman [Ignace Gutmann]. If you pass along my 
street, don't neglect my number. 

Yours till death. 

Ch. 
318 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Friday. 

I send you a word to Princess Galitzyn, and a copy for your- 
self. 



220. 

To the Same. 
[Undated.] 

I thought this was from Pillet, and opened it, and it's I don't 
know what. They brought it this minute. 

Ch. 
I'm waiting for the doctor, and he doesn't come. 



221. 

[In French] 

To Mme George Sand. 

Wednesday, half past 3 [30 December 1846]. 

Your letters made me very happy yesterday. This one should 
reach you on New Year's day, with the usual sweets, the strac- 
chino 1 and the coald- [sic] cream of Mme de Bonne Chose. 2 

Yesterday I dined at Mme Marliani's and took her to the 
Odéon to see " Agnès." Delacroix sent me a good box, and I 
placed it at Mme Marliani's service. To tell you the truth, I 
did not much enjoy it, and I greatly prefer " Lucrèce " ; but I am 
no judge of these things. Arago came to see me; he is rather thin 
and hoarse, but always friendly and charming. The weather is 
cold, but pleasant for those who can walk, and I hope that your 
headache is gone, and that you walk, as before, in your garden. 
Be happy, be happy all of you, in the coming year, and when you 
can, write to me, please, that you are well. 

Yours with all devotion 

Ch. 

1 A kind of cheese. 

2 Mrs. Good Thing: possibly the trade name of some dealer in cosmetics. 

319 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



To your dear children. 

I am well. Grzym. is steadily better; I shall go with him to- 
day to the Hôtel Lambert, with as many wraps as possible. 



222. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Tuesday, 3 o'clock [12 January 1847]. 

Your letter ammused me. I have known many bad days, but 
as for Bonjours, 1 I have never met any except the everlasting 
candidate for the Academy, M. Casimir Bonjour. My improvised 
friend makes me think of the megalomaniac gentleman at Châ- 
teauroux, whose name I don't know, and who told M. de Préaux 
how well he knows me. If this continues, I shall end by regarding 
myself as an important personage. So you are now quite ab- 
sorbed in dramatic art. I am sure that your prologue will be 
a masterpiece, and that the rehearsals will give you much amuse- 
ment; only don't ever forget your ivilchura, 2 or your muse. 
Here it is cold. I have seen the Veyrets, who send you their re- 
spects. I won't forget your flowers or your gardener's bill. Take 
care of yourself, amuse yourself, be well, all of you. 

Your devoted 

Ch. 

To your dear children. 

1 Bonjour: Good day, is found in France as a family name. 

2 for wilczura: in Polish, a garment of wolf fur. 



320 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
223. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Sunday, half past 1 [17 January 1847]. 

I have received your kind letter of Thursday. So you are really 
rivalling the Porte St. Martin [theatre]. The " Cave of Crime "! 
— But it's more than interesting. Your Funambules, 1 turned 
into Frenchmen, or even the Opéra with Dow Juan; it is becoming 
to the last extent romantic. I can imagine the emotions of Mar- 
quis and of Dib. Happy spectators, naïve and not over in- 
structed! I am sure that the portraits in the salon must also 
regard you with astonished eyes. [?] Amuse yourself as thor- 
oughly as possible. Here, as I told you, there is nothing but ill- 
ness on illness. Be well, all of you, and be happy. 

Yours with all devotion 

Ch. 

To your dear children. 
I rub along as I can. 



224. 

To Józef Nowakowski in Paris. 
[Undated] Wednesday evening [1847]. 

What is happening to you? I have not seen you since Friday. 
Come to me at No. 9 between 12 and 1. You know that it is 
difficult for me to leave the house, and if you have not much 
pleasure in seeing me, I have much in seeing you, and that for 
no other reason than just because you are the same person as 
in the old days at home, and such an original as no other under 
the sun. When once you leave here, even if you were to pay for 

1 tightrope dancers. 

321 



chopin's letters 

it we shan't see each other any more. Afterwards you'll be sorry 
that you didn't give me a sight of your whiskers again. 

Ch. 



225. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
[Paris, 17 February 1847.] 

My dearest Life ! 

I beg you, come without fail this evening about eight. Besides 
the household you will find Arago and Delacroix. I will play a 
duet with Franchomme. But come, my Life, if only for a moment. 
Today is Ash Wednesday. Come, if only for a penance, for hav- 
ing spent carnival sadly. 

Your old 

Ch. 
Wednesday. 



226. 

[In French] 

To Mme George Sand. 
Saturday [10 April 1847]. 

Thanks for your good news. I passed it on to Maurice, who 
will have to write to you. He is well; I too. Everything here is 
as you left it. No violets, no jonquils, no narcissus in the little 
garden. They have removed your flowers, they have taken down 
your curtains; that is all. Be happy, be in a good humour, take 
care of yourself; and just a word about all that when you can! 

Your devoted 

Ch. 



322 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



227. 



To his Family. 

[Paris. The year is not given, but the contents show it to 
have been written in 1847.] 

Begun in the week before Easter, and I am finishing it on 
April 19th. 

My beloved Dears. 

When I don't answer at once, afterwards I can't get started, 
and my conscience drives me away from the paper instead of 
to it. Mme Sand has been here for 2 months, but leaves for 
Nohant directly after Easter. Sol is not going to be married 
yet; after they had arrived here for the contract, she changed her 
mind ; I am sorry about it and sorry for the boy, who is a good 
fellow and in love; but it is better that it should happen before 
the wedding than after. It is supposed to be just put off, but 
I know what is behind. You ask what I shall do this summer; 
just the same as always: I shall go to Nohant as soon as it is 
warm, and meanwhile I shall stay here and give a lot of lessons, 
not fatiguing ones, in my own place, as before. If Tytus comes 
abroad, as he intended, I should like to spend a little time with 
him here. About you Barcińskis, it seems as if you are not de- 
cided; but if you do come I should be able to meet you some- 
where, because I have time in the summer, and can spend a little 
of the money earned during the winter if I have any luck with 
health. This year my attacks (crises — not to write it in the 
manner of the nurse that Albert had when he was ill : " La cerise 
de Monsieur" 1 ) — well, my attacks have not been frequent, 
in spite of the extreme cold. I have not yet seen Pani Ryszczew- 
ska. Pani Delfina Potocka (for whom I have a real affection) 
was to have called on me with her, but went to Nice a few days 
ago. Before she left I played her my violoncello sonata with 
Franchomme in my lodging. That evening, besides her, I had the 
prince and princess of Wurttemberg and their daughter, and 
Mme Sand; and it was nice and warm. 

1 Crise: attack (of illness) ; cerise: cherry. 

323 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Franch[omme] has this minute brought my box for tomor- 
row's Conservatoire, and sends greetings to the Jędrzejewiczes. 
Poor fellow, all his three children are seriously ill with measles. 
A trouble from which I am safe. Nowak (whom Franch. often 
saw at my place, but regarded him as stupid, ever since he was 
once present when Nowak would not go with me to an evening 
at Legouvé's, where he would have met a whole crowd of the 
learned world, and would have seen and heard, for instance, 
Lablache) — Nowak is perhaps already with you. He is a good 
fellow, but so empty-headed, that may the Lord have mercy on 
him. For example: he had a letter to Janin. Two or three weeks 
before he left, he told me about it. I said that it was too late ; but 
the same day I took him for the evening to Gavard, and Janin 
was there; so I wanted to introduce him, but he did not wish 
it. A few days later, he came and told me that he had given 
the letter to Janin, and that Janin is going to write an article 
about him; but asked me to write and tell Janin what to say 
about his compositions, and that my letter must be sent off by 
4 that afternoon. I could not understand this. I asked : with whom 
did he go to Janin. He replied: with the editor of the Courier, 
an intimate friend of Janin. I know the editor en chef of the 
Courier, Durieu; I ask: is it he? No; some other name, which 
I had never heard in my life. But I thought it might be some 
household friend of Janin; so I told Nowak to come to me the 
next morning, and we would go to Janin together, so that he 
could tell me himself what he wanted to know. The next morning 
I announce myself at Janin's ; he and his wife received me most 
charmingly, and I explained that I had come to thank him for 
his kind reception of my countryman. To which he replied 
that he had told Nowak, a few words from me {un petit mot 
de Chopin) would be all the introduction he needed: — et 
imaginez-vous, he added, quil s'est fait presenter par un imbé- 
cile dont je ne sais même pas le nom; 1 so the ami intime was a 
person whose very name Janin does not know. We both laughed 
over the good Nowak, and he regarded the few words from me 
as an article; poor Nowak understands no French at all, except 

1 And imagine that he had himself introduced by an idiot whose name I don't 
even know. 

324 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

garçon, café, bougie, cocher, doner [sic], jolie mademoiselle, 
bon [sic] musique. 1 Like Cichocki with the little stove, he spent 
his time here over some bit of furniture, and finally I was obliged 
to send for him in order to see him. His studies are being pub- 
lished here through my mediation, and with a dedication to me. 
This publication seems to be all the world to him. It makes him 
happy to be in print. He is too old to learn anything new, or to 
get any sense into his head. He is kind, and what he bites off he 
will eat, so I am fond of him as he is, we have known each other 
so long; but I had forgotten that there are still so many persons 
with us, who live without knowing how, why, or to what end. 
As far as he can, he loves us all; and as far as I could, I helped 
him here; but I often knocked at the door of his soul, and 
there was no one at home. 2 His wig (which Durand made for 
him) covers a big hole; but he understands and knows that 
himself, for where and how was he educated? On my side, I 
expected too much of him, but I could not dissociate him from 
memories of you. He gave me Kolberg's 3 songs ; good in- 
tentions, but too narrow shoulders [for the job]. Often when 
I see such things, I think it would be better to have nothing; 
this laborious stuff only distorts things and renders harder the 
work of the genius who will one day disentangle the truth. 
Till that time, all these beautiful things remain, rouged, with 
their noses straightened and their feet cut down, or stuck on 
stilts; a laughing-stock for those who look upon them without 
respect. 

I have written too useless things to you, but a week ago. To- 
day I am again alone in Paris; Mme S. has left with Solange, 
the cousin (that one) and Luce, and three more days have 
passed. Yesterday I had a letter from the country; they are well 
and cheerful, only they have had rain, as we have here. This 
year's exhibition of painting and sculpture began some weeks 
ago ; there is nothing very important by masters already known, 
but some new real talents have been discovered. There is a 
sculptor named Clésinger, who is exhibiting only the second 

1 Waiter, café, candle, cabman, give, pretty young lady, good music. 

2 A Polish and Russian idiom: "Rat-tat-tat; no one at home" : no brains. 

3 Oskar Kolberg: "Pieśni ludu polskiego": Songs of the Polish Folk; a col- 
lection of folk songs with piano accompaniments written by Kolberg. 

325 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

year, and a painter, Couture, whose enormous canvas, represent- 
ing a conversation in Rome at the time of the Roman decadence, 
attracts everyone's attention. Remember the sculptor's name, for 
I shall often write to you about him ; he has been introduced to 
Mme S. Before she left he made a bust of her, and one of 
Solange; everyone admires them greatly, and they will probably 
be exhibited next year. I start this letter for the 4th time today, 
16th of April, and don't know whether I shall even now get it 
finished, for I must go today to Scheffer, to pose for my portrait, 
and must give 5 lessons. I have written to you about the exhibi- 
tion; now about music. David's: " Christopher Columbus " has 
almost as great a success as The Desert. I have not yet heard 
it, though it has been performed three times, and I don't feel im- 
patient to hear it. One young unbroken colt said : " On a crié bis, 
on a crié ter (terre means earth, land). The 4th part, in which 
there are Indian songs, is said to be very good. Yesterday Vieux- 
temps gave his second concert ; I could not go, but Franchomme 
told me today that his playing was great, and that his new con- 
certo is very beautiful. He came to see me the day before yester- 
day, with his wife; I played to him for the first time. But that 
yesterday, at Leo's they sat me down at a table after dinner, to 
look at the album of a certain painter who has travelled about 
America for 16 years, and I could not put it down (wonderful 
things! But too many to see at one time) — but for that, I should 
have gone to Vieuxtemps's concert. Tomorrow they promise a 
Spanish theatre (at the Italian opera). A Spanish troupe has ar- 
rived, and they are to play at court today. The queen mother of 
Spain is here now (Christina). Today, before the Spaniards, 
Mile Rachel is to play Athalie at court; she is said to be marvel- 
lous in the part; I have not yet seen it. Athalie is given with 
Gossec's choruses. Gossec was a well known and respected 
French composer at the end of last century. In the choruses to 
Athalie (which are fairly dull) it has been customary of late 
to play at the end a very beautiful chorus from Haydn's " Crea- 
tion." When Gossec was very old (about 35 years ago), hearing 
this, he remarked quite naively: — "Je n'ai aucun souvenir 
d'avoir écrit cela." x People found it very easy to believe him. I 
1 I have no recollection of having written that. 

326 



Chopin's letters 

send Ludwika a note from Mlle de Rozières, but not from Mme S., 
for they were in a hurry to start. Today I have again had news 
from Nohant; they are well, and again rearranging the house — 
they like altering arrangements — and Luce, who left here with 
them, has also been dismissed on arriving, so they tell me. So, 
of the old servants whom the Jędrzejewiczes saw, not one is left. 
The old gardener, who had been 40 years there, then Françoise, 
who had served for 18 years, now Luce, who was born there and 
was carried to her christening in the same cradle with Solange: 
— all since the arrival of that cousin, who is calculating on get- 
ting Maurice, and he is taking advantage of her. This between 
ourselves. 

11 o'clock. Mlle de Rozières has come, and is warming herself 
by the fire; she is surprised that my letter has not gone yet, 
grieves about the age of her own letter and wants to write an- 
other. Again an interruption of this letter; the day is gone. Well 
then, yesterday I went to Scheffer, then visited Delacroix; but 
that meant that I gave fewer lessons; I did not want to dress for 
dinner, so I spent the evening at home, humming over tunes 
from the Wisła [Vistula] . Today I woke at 7; my pupil Gutmann 
came to ask me not to forget his evening. Durand came, and 
brought some chocolate; my chocolate is sent to me from Bor- 
deaux, where they make it specially, without any flavouring, in 
a private house belonging to the cousins of one of my kind pupils, 
who keeps me going with chocolate. Today we again had a little 
frost in the morning, but fortunately it was very slight, and 
probably did no harm to the crops, which are expected to be 
good this year. Grain is extremely dear here, as you know, and 
there is much distress, notwithstanding a great deal of charité. 
Mme S. gives a great deal of help in her village and in the dis- 
trict, as you may suppose, and this is one of a dozen reasons why 
she left here so early this winter, quite apart from the adjourn- 
ing of her daughter's marriage. Her latest work to come out is : 
" Lucrezia Floriani," but for the last 4 months the Presse has 
had her new novel, entitled (for the present) " Piccinino" 
(which means: little one). The scene is laid in Sicily. It has 
many beauties ; I have no doubt that Ludwika will like it better 
than Lucrezia, which here also has aroused less enthusiasm than 

327 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

the others. Piccinino is the sobriquet 1 given to one of the local 
bandits, on account of his small size. There are fine characters, 
both women and men; it is natural and poetic, and I remember 
how much I enjoyed hearing it read. Now she is again beginning 
to write something, but in Paris she had not a moment to think 
quietly. Three more days have passed; this is the 18th. Yes- 
terday I had to give 7 lessons, to pupils who are going away. In 
the evening, instead of dressing and going out to the Faubourg 
St. Germain, I went with Alkan to see Arnal at the Vaude- 
ville in a new piece by M. Duvert, called: "Ce que femme 
veut " 2 — Arnal is as funny as usual, and informs the public 
how he wanted psipsi 3 in the chemin de fer and how he could 
not get out anywhere, all the way to Orléans. There is not an 
indecent word, but everybody understands and roars with laugh- 
ter. Once, he says, the train stopped and he wanted to get out; 
but they told him it had stopped : " pour prendre de l'eau pour 
la machine et cela n'était pas son affaire du tout," 4 and so on. 
Today is the 19th. Yesterday a letter from Nohant interrupted 
me. Mme S. writes me that she will be here at the end of next 
month, and to wait for them. Probably it is about Sol's wedding 
(but not with the man about whom I told you). May God grant 
them good things. In the last letter they were all cheerful, so I 
have good hopes. If anyone deserves happiness, Mme S. does. 
At this moment Turczynowicz brings me Stefan's religious songs, 
but I can't read them before he leaves, for he says he is start- 
ing today. I gave him a word of thanks, for he demanded it in 
writing. If you meet Stefan anywhere there, thank him, and 
Kolberg too for his laborious work. I will stop, for I have to 
give a lesson to young Mme Rothschild, then to a lady from Mar- 
seilles, then to an Englishwoman, then to a Swedish one, and at 
5 to receive a family from New Orleans who have an introduc- 
tion from Pleyel. Then dinner at Leo's, an evening at the Per- 
thuis', and to sleep if I can. I embrace you. Nowak is doubt- 
less already with you. Wernik is well ; we are beginning to learn 
a little. Embrace Tytus, and write me about him, also about 

1 nickname. 

2 What woman wills. 

3 To pass water. 

4 To take in water for the locomotive, and that was not a bit what he wanted. 

328 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Dresden. Lorka is not here; the good soul wrote to me from 
Dresden. Méry has written from Rome; he is going to Hyères, 
where Zofia Roseng[art] is; she is fairly well and happy; she 
has written to me. I embrace Mummy most heartily, and all of 
you. 

[In a postscript:] Jasio writes to me that he is well; but, but! — 
that he thinks of getting seriously to work, that he counts only 
on his own powers. I forget many interesting things that I could 
write to you, and write dull ones instead; but forgive me, my 
head is not always equally clear ; today I have decided to send off 
this everlasting letter, so be satisfied with the news that I am 
well and that today there is sunshine for the first time in a week. 



228. 

[In French] 

To Mme George Sand. 
[Undated.] 

Maurice left yesterday morning, well, and in fine weather. 
Your letter arrived after his departure. I hope to have another 
letter from you, determining the date of your arrival, so as to 
have fires in your rooms. So, have good weather, fine ideas and 
all the happiness in the world. 

Yours with all devotion. 

Ch. 

To the young folk. 
Wednesday. 



329 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
229. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Thursday, 29th [April 1847]. 

You perform prodigies of industry, and I am not surprised. 
May God assist you. You are well, and you will be well. Your 
curtains are still here. Tomorrow is the 30th. But I am not 
expecting you, as I have had no definite news. The weather 
is fine, and the leaves are beginning to try to sprout. You will 
have a comfortable journey, without having to cut off your sleep. 
Send me a line before starting, please, because there must be 
fires in your rooms. Take care of yourself. Be happy and at rest. 

Yours with all devotion 

Ch. 

To the young folk. 



230. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Saturday [15 May 1847]. 

How can I tell you how much pleasure your good letter that 
I have just received has given me, and how much interested I 
am in the excellent details concerning all that is now occupy- 
ing you. You know well that among your friends, no one more 
sincerely desires the happiness of your child than I do. Tell her 
so from me, please. I am well again. God uphold you always 
in your strength and activity. Be happy and at peace. 

Yours with all devotion 

Ch. 

330 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
231. 

[In French] 

To Solange Clésinger. 
[Paris, May 1847.] 

I have already asked your Mother, a few days ago, to convey 
to you my sincerest wishes for your future; and now I cannot 
refrain from telling you of all the pleasure that I have derived 
from your charming little letter, from which you appear to me 
to be so happy. You are at the summit of joy, and I hope that 
you will always remain there. With all my soul I desire your 
unchanging prosperity. 

Ch. 



232. 

[In French] 
To Messrs. Breitkopf and Hartel in Leipsic. 

I the undersigned Fr. Chopin domiciled in Paris rue St. La- 
zare No. 34 acknowledge that I have sold to Messrs. Breitkopf 
and Haertel, Leipsic, the works hereinafter specified and com- 
posed by me; namely: 
Op. 63 Three Mazurkas for the piano 
" 64. Three Waltzes " " " 
" 65. Sonata for Piano and Violoncello 
I declare that I have ceded this property to them without any 
reserve or limit for all time and for all countries except France 
and England, and I acknowledge that I have received the price 
agreed upon, for which a separate receipt has been given. 

F. Chopin 
Paris, 30 June 1847. 



331 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
233. 

[In French] 

To Solange Clésinger. 
[Undated.] 

I am much grieved to know that you are ill. I hasten to place 
my carriage at your service. 

I have written to this effect to your Mother. 
Take care of yourself. 

Your old friend 

Ch. 
Wednesday 1 



234. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 

[Paris] 17 September 1847. Wednesday. 

Princess Marcellina has come for a few weeks. That is, they 
are still in Dieppe. I am too ill to find rooms for them; if you can, 
will you come? I hope you are well. Here the bad weather is 
starting already. 

Write me a line if you can't come. 

Yours till death 

Ch. 

1 This letter, doubtless written in the summer of 1847, appears to have been 
the immediate cause of the rupture between George Sand and Chopin. She had 
quarrelled with her daughter and son-in-law, had turned them out of the house, 
and had expressed a wish that he should cut them. [Op.] 



332 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
235. 

[In French] 

To Solange Clésinger. 

Paris, Saturday, 18 Sept. 1847. 

I thank you sincerely for your good news. I already have the 
sachet, and have mentioned to Mlle R. 1 that you will write to 
her. The other day I entered Lafitte and Co.'s courtyard by one 
door just as you were leaving by the other; it was quite simple: 
I had a No. 7 on my cab. That is why I did not answer you yes- 
terday, the 17th for my letter to catch you still at Besançon. So 
you are to travel about the beautiful Franche-Comté; and I beg 
you not to forget me in your wanderings, so that I may know 
where to write to you. My Swede 2 has deserted me, and I cannot 
follow him to Stockholm. Still no news. And you, keep well. 

Allow me to give you a warm handshake, with all my wishes 
for happiness, to you and to your husband. 

Ch. 



236. 
[In French] 
To the Same. 

I was just writing to thank you for the visit of M. Bouzemond's 
clerk, and to ask for news of you, when your good letter was 
brought to me. It has done me more good than a bottle of Molin, 
and now I feel quite ready to let myself be carried off by M. 
de Rothschild to spend a few days on his estate at Ferrières. 
Poor Enrico was snuffed out three days ago in an asylum (Mme 
Marl[iani] has let the apartment and has been living in a hôtel 

1 Mlle de Rozières. 

2 A Swedish masseur, who had been treating Chopin. See Delacroix's Journal. 
Vol. I, p. 252. [Op.] 

333 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

garni) . She begins to miss the good Enrico badly. She came to 
see me yesterday and told me that she was astonished to have 
received from Nohant no answer to her last letter. (Apparently 
she had asked some question, according to her custom.) No one 
has any news; neither Grzym., nor Delacroix, who sincerely re- 
grets not having seen you, nor Mlle de R[ozières], whom I will 
notify of your next letter. She expects soon to begin her lessons 
at Chaillot. I have already begun my lessons; and there is a 
pupil waiting now for the end of this sheet, which I should have 
liked to fill with all sorts of good news ; but I have none to give 
you, and I relinquish my pen, wishing both of you all possible 
happiness, and thanking you with all my soul for your kind 
words. My old friendship, always and always. 

Ch. 

Press your husband's hand for me, please; and correct my 
French as of old. 
[Paris] Saturday, 2 October [1847]. 



237. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

[Paris] Tuesday [1847]. 

I received your letter with pleasure, and read it with grief. 
What are all these slanders about! Your husband has never 
borrowed any large sum from me to pay for your furniture. You 
returned me the 500 fr. as soon as you reached Besançon. Also 
I found the 5 louis in my purse, and always forgot to thank 
you for the delicate way in which you repaid your creditor for 
large sums. 

Your devoted 

Ch. 
To your husband. 

334 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
238. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

[Paris] Wednesday, 24 [November 1847]. 

Every morning for the last fifteen days I begin to write, to 
tell you how sad I am at the outcome of your two visits to Nohant. 
But the first step is made; you have shown affection, and there 
is a certain drawing together, since you have been asked to 
write. Time will do the rest. Also, you know that one must not 
take too literally everything that people say; and, even if, for 
example, she will not any longer know a foreigner like me, it can 
scarcely be the same with your husband, who has become a 
member of the family. Yesterday I saw Mlle de Rozières, who 
told me that Mme Bascans has had news of you, but still no news 
from Nohant. Mme Bascans is in bed with a feverish chill. All 
Paris is ill ; the weather is frightful, and you do well to be under 
a clear sky. Stay there and keep well and in a good humour. 
I will try to give you some news that will be better than our cli- 
mate; but for that, this hateful year must end. Besides all else, 
it has taken away from Grzym. all his fortune. He has just lost 
everything in an unfortunate commercial affair. Delacroix has 
been to see me, and asked me to express to you all his regrets 
that he could not manage to meet you. Bignat has not come. Mme 
Marliani is having a legal separation. Here is news of all sorts. 
Also, in the Siècle, there is an article by your Mother on the 
history of Louis Blanc. That is all. I choke ; I have a headache, 
and I beg your pardon for my erasures and for my French. Give 
me a good handshake, you and your husband too. May God 
keep you. 

Your devoted 

Chopin 
[Paris] Wednesday, 24 [November 1847]. 

Give me a sign of life. Next time I will write more and better. 

335 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



239. 

To his sister, Ludwika Jedrzejewicz. 

One of my old letters, begun, and not burned. 
[Paris] Christmas, 1847. 

My very Dearest Children! 

I did not answer at once, because I am terribly busy. For 
the rest, Mlle de Rozières probably answered Ludwika at once, 
and told her that I am well and up to my ears in work. Thank 
you very much for the little bust of my godson. He has a 
physiognomy of genius; but the person who modelled it is 
doubtless a mediocrity and involuntarily left his mark on it. 
I send you by chamberlain Walewski a tiny Lady's Compan- 
ion for Ludwika from my kind Scottish lady, and have now 
sent off the New Year engravings by the usual route. Ga- 
vard has given me for Ludwika his drawings, half of which I 
have had for a long time lying here, waiting for an opportunity 
to send them. Some day I'll bring them myself. Ludwika can 
thank him if she likes. Besides that there is Bosphore's History 
of Paris, for Ludwika ; " Ireland," " Rome," and " France " for 
Izabela; " Paul and Virginia " for little Ludka. For Kalasanty: 
" The Gentlemen," and : " The Magdalens," and for Bartek : 
" The Professors" ; comic. The day before yesterday — Christ- 
mas Eve, I spent in the most prosaic manner, but I thought of 
you. I send you my most earnest wishes, as every year. Lorka 
is here ; I often see her. She has aged ; you would like her better 
now. She leaves this week for Dresden. It is a pleasure to talk 
with her of you; she loves you sincerely. I have met prince Mi- 
chael's daughter, and her husband also. I am teaching Mme 
Calergis; she really plays very well, and in all respects has a 
huge success in the Parisian great world. Sol is with her father 
in Gascony. She saw her Mother before leaving. She was in 
Nohant with the Duvernets ; but her Mother received her coldly, 
and told her that if she will leave her husband she can come back 
to Nohant. She saw her bridal bedroom converted into a theatre, 
her boudoir into a dressing-room for actors, and writes that her 

336 



chopin's letters 



Mother spoke to her only of money affairs. Her brother played 
with her dog; and all he found to say to her was: — " Veux-tu 
manger quelque chose? " x Neither the cousin nor those other 
people were visible ; in a word, her two visits were failures. Be- 
fore leaving next day she went back there; but was received even 
more coldly than the first time. Still, her Mother did ask her 
to write, and say what she intends to do. The Mother appears to 
be more bitter against her son-in-law than against her daughter ; 
yet in the famous letter to me she wrote that her son-in-law is 
not bad ; it is only her daughter who makes him so. It seems as 
if she wanted, at one stroke, to get rid of her daughter and of 
me, because we were inconvenient ; she will correspond with her 
daughter; so her maternal heart, which cannot do without some 
news of her child, will be quieted, and with that she can stifle 
her conscience. She will believe that she is just, and will pro- 
nounce me an enemy for having taken the side of her son-in- 
law (whom she cannot endure only because he has married her 
daughter; and I did all I could to prevent the marriage). A 
strange creature, with all her intellect ! Some kind of frenzy has 
come upon her ; she harrows up her own life, she harrows up her 
Daughter's life; with her Son too it will end badly; I predict it 
and could swear to it. For her own justification she longs to find 
something against those who care for her, who have never done 
her any discourtesy, but whom she cannot bear to see about her, 
because they are the mirrors of her conscience. Thus, to me she 
has not written one word more, she will not come to Paris this 
winter, nor has she mentioned me at all to her daughter. I do 
not regret that I helped her through the eight most difficult years 
of her life: the years when her Daughter was growing up and 
her Son living with his Mother ; I do not regret what I have suf- 
fered ; but I am sorry that the Daughter, that carefully overcul- 
tivated plant, sheltered from so many storms, has been broken 
in her Mother's hand by a carelessness and levity pardonable 
perhaps in a woman in her twenties, but not in one in her forties. 
What has been and no longer is, leaves no trace in the register. 
When, some day, Mme S. thinks the matter over she can have 
only kind memories of me in her soul. Meanwhile she is now in 
1 Will you have something to eat? 

337 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

the strangest paroxysm of motherhood, playing the part of a 
juster and better mother than she really is; and that is a fever 
for which there is no remedy in the case of heads with such an 
imagination, when they have entered into such a quagmire. For 
the rest: — " even cypresses have their caprices." x Meanwhile 
the winter here is not very good. There is a great deal of grippe, 
but I have enough with my usual cough, and am no more afraid 
of grippe than you of cholera. I smell my homeopathic flasks 
from time to time, give many lessons in the house, and manage 
as I can. I want to write to you every day; and this letter, begun 
in the old year, is being finished on January the 6th, 1848. Lorka 
left for Dresden yesterday. Her step-sister is going to marry 
Olizar. Before she went to her train we dined together at the 
house of Pani Ryszczewska, whom I like very much. They are 
all older, and better than when they were too young. I don't know 
whether I wrote to you that the good Wojciech-father (Grzymała) 
has suffered heavy financial losses, and has had — and still will 
have — grave annoyances. A man who had his fullest con- 
fidence, whose habilité 2 was known and valued by all bank ad- 
visers and persons du métier* has swindled him and absconded. 
The thing is gradually being cleaned up ; he comes out as clear 
as crystal, and is the first to suffer, and those who had shares 
in the enterprise will lose less than was at first supposed. The 
enterprise is an entrepôt 4 in connection with the Nord railway. 
The goods are housed there, to be then dispatched to right and 
left. The business is a good and straightforward one, but this 
gentleman of his, who was the chief manager there, signed for 
illegal sums to which he had no right; could not pay when they 
were protested and had to bolt, leaving the whole mess on the 
shoulders of our good Wojciech, who has succeeded in partially 
extricating himself, but not entirely yet. I tell you this in case 
any ugly stories should reach you; there are plenty of chari- 
table folk in the world. A new story by Mme S. is coming out in 
the Débats: a Berrichon village tale, like the Mare. 5 It begins 

1 A quotation from the old Polonaise: "From high Parnassus." 

2 skill. 

3 of that occupation. 

4 storehouse. 

5 La Mare au Diable. 

338 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

well; it is called: "François le Champi." " Champi " is the 
rural term for the bastard children who are usually given 
to poor women to bring up, the hospital paying for them. 
There are also rumours about her memoirs; but Mme S. herself 
wrote to Mme Marliani that there will be more of her thoughts on 
art, on literature, etc. than of what is usually understood as 
memoirs. And, indeed, it would be too early for that; for dear 
Mme S. will yet pass through strange things in life, before 
she grows old ; many beautiful and many ugly things will befall 
her. Mme Obreskow is here, and talks a lot to me about Mummy, 
whenever we meet, and I have promised to dine with her once 
a week. 



240. 

[In French] 

To Solange Clésinger. 
[Paris] 31 December 1847. 

I thank you sincerely for your kind remembrance. I do not 
need to tell you how much happiness I wish you in the year 
now beginning. I at once took your letter to your husband, who 
will leave tomorrow, as he tells me, to rejoin you. He has been 
working hard at his marbles for the exhibition, which has pre- 
vented him from leaving Paris earlier. M. de Larac has received 
notice for the apartment at No 3, as well as for that of Maurice, 
which makes me inclined to believe in the good idea of my com- 
patriot, if there is a compatriot. So long as everybody is satisfied. 
I have faith in things coming right little by little; I think that 
soon you will receive 90 lines instead of 9, and that the grand- 
mother's joy will be the joy of the young mother. You will 
adore together the little angel that is coming into the world to 
restore both your hearts to their normal condition. Here is the 
programme for 1848. There is a new novel, with the title: Fran- 
çois le Champi, which should begin to appear in a few days 
in the Débats. Hetzel also makes vague announcements in the 

339 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

newspapers of some kind of Memoirs. Mme Marliani has had 
some news about that, and tells me that the book is to treat of the 
arts and of literary matters. A certain capitalist, M. Latouche 
(I believe), will furnish the money for Hetzel, who is merely to 
publish. I delivered your compliments to Mlle de Rozières, who 
will write to you if she has not already done so. I cough, and I 
am entirely taken up with my lessons. It is cold, I do not get out 
much, for it is too cold. Take care of yourself, and come back in 
good health, both of you. This year is fairly lively; the national 
guards have given their habitual serenade in the Square. I have 
bought some things for my goddaughter at the hôtel Lambert; 
the sale, up to yesterday, had brought in 20 thousand fr. There 
were some very fine things. Your husband sent a little water- 
colour which was very welcome. Delacroix did a little Christ 
which was much admired. Gudin, Lehman and others also gave 
some of their drawings. I can't see any more; it is snowing, and 
getting dark. Mme Adélaïde is dead ; there will be deep mourn- 
ing for 2 months. I choke, and I wish you all possible happiness. 

Your devoted 

Ch. 



241. 

To Ludwika Jedrzejewicz. 

[Paris] Thursday, 10 February 1848. 

My. Life! 

About your books: the Gallery of Versailles is a gift from 
Gavard to Ludwika. The beginning of it was to have gone 6 
months ago when there was an opportunity; but it came back 
to me, and has been lying here. What I am sending now is 
what has come out since; I don't know how much. One must 
not look a gift horse in the mouth. Gavard gave it to me packed 
up, so I did not see it, and just sent it through my usual book- 
seller, and therefore have not sent the beginning, which was not 
packed, and has got a little dirty from lying in the drawer. Never 
again will I send you books through that idiot, now that Spies 

340 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

is dead. All the rest is correct. I had no time to sign the Bos- 
phore for you, Ludwika. I have no time to ask Gavard what is 
missing, and Frank, through whom it went, cannot know, as I 
gave it to him packed up, as Gavard sent it. One would have to 
ask Gavard, and he would have to find out from his employee, 
and so on; It's not worth while, especially as it was a gift. If, 
however, it is really necessary, then in next letter. [The words 
from: "One would have . . ." to "next letter" are crossed 
out, and a footnote is added with an asterisk:] * Gavard has just 
come, and has made a note of it. [Letter continues:] As for me, 
I am as well as I know how to be. Pleyel, Perthuis, Leo and 
Albrecht have persuaded me to give a concert. All places have 
been sold out for a week. I shall give it in the Pleyel salon on 
the 16th of this month. Only 300 tickets, at 20 fr. I shall have the 
fashionable world of Paris. The King has taken 10, the queen 10, 
the duchess of Orleans 10, the duke of Montpensier 10, though 
the court is in mourning and none of them will come. They 
want to attend a second concert, which I probably shall not give, 
for even this one bores me. Mme S. is still in the country, with 
Borie, with her son, with Lambert and Augustine ; whom, appar- 
ently, she is giving in marriage to some teacher of drawing from 
a little town called Tulle, a friend of Borie. She has not written 
one word to me any more, and I don't write either. She has told 
the landlord to let her apartment here. Sol is with her father, 
Dudevant, in Gascony; she writes to me. Her husband is here, 
finishing his marbles for the exhibition, which is to be in March. 
Sol has been ill at her father's house. They have no money, so 
it is better for Sol to spend the winter in a good climate. But the 
poor thing is bored. She has a cheerful lune de miel! * Mean- 
while her Mother is writing a very fine feuilleton in the Débats. 
She is putting on a comedy in the village in her daughter's 
bride-room; she has forgotten herself, is doing crazy things, and 
will not come to her senses till her heart begins to ache badly; 
at present it is dominated by her head. I have had my cross to 
carry. May God pity her, if she can't distinguish between genu- 
ine affection and flattery. And yet perhaps it only appears to 
me that others are flatterers, and perhaps her happiness is really 
1 honeymoon. 

341 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

there, where I can't see it. Her friends, her neighbours have long 
understood nothing of what was happening there of late; but 
now perhaps they are accustomed. For the rest, no one will ever 
be able to steer through the caprices of such a mind. Eight years 
of any settled arrangement was too much. God willed just those 
to be the years in which her children were growing up, and if I 
had not been there, I don't know how long ago the children 
would have been with their father, not with her. Maurice, too, 
will run away to his father at the first opportunity. But perhaps, 
after all, those are the conditions of her life, of her literary talent, 
of her happiness? Don't let it worry you, for it's all long over. 
Time is a great physician. I have not managed to get over it yet. 
That is why I don't write to you, for what I begin, I burn. There's 
no use in writing! Or better nothing; only that we have not met 
for a long time, without any quarrels or scenes, and that I could 
not go there, on the terms of keeping silence about her Daugh- 
ter. The Daughter, on the way to her father, saw her mother, 
but was coldly received by her; her Son-in-law she did not 
choose to see at all, but is in correspondence with the Daughter, 
however coldly ; which is a comfort to me, for at least something 
will remain between Mother and Daughter. 

[Postscript:] I send this letter so that you may know that I am 
well, and have the truth about the books. 
I will send the letter to de Rozières. 



242. 

To his family. 

[Paris] Friday, 11 February 1848. 

To all my Dear ones. 
My Dearest ones. 

I have not written to you for a long time, for it's this way: 
the more behindhand I get, the more things accumulate to write 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

about — and so many — and so many that the sheer mass of 
them ends in nothing at all. That's how it is that today I am writ- 
ing you only a few words, so that you may know I am well and 
have had your letter. I have had grippe, like everyone here, and 
if I write shortly today, it is because my thoughts are occupied 
with my concert, which is to be on the 16th of this month. My 
friends came one morning and told me that I must give a concert, 
that I need not worry over anything, only sit down and play. All 
tickets have been sold out for a week, and all are at 20 fr. The 
public is putting down names for a second concert (of which I 
am not thinking). The court has ordered 40 tickets; and though 
the newspapers have merely said that perhaps I will give a con- 
cert, people have written to my publisher from Brest and from 
Nantes, to reserve places. I am astonished at such empresse- 
ment, 1 and today I must play, if only for conscience' sake, for I 
believe I am playing worse now than ever before. I shall play 
(for the interest of it) Mozart's Trio with Franchomme and 
Alard. There will be no posters and no free tickets. The hall is 
conveniently arranged, and has room for 300. Pleyel always 
jokes about my stupidity, and will decorate the steps with flowers 
to make me more willing to play. I shall be as if at home, 
and my eyes will meet scarcely any but familiar faces. I have 
a piano here already, and play on it. Yesterday I signed for 
a very fine Pleyel piano and had it packed up to go to Cracow 
for Pani Adam Potocka (née Branicka). Through someone, I 
don't know whom, I have received your blanket, which is ad- 
mired by those who have seen it. I thank you, my Dearest ones. 
It is cold with you; here the frost is over, but there was a time 
when the Seine froze over. Wernik is working very well, tell 
his mother. Nowakowski has written to me, but I have nothing 
to write about to him. I am giving many lessons. I am very busy, 
on all sides, and yet get nothing done. Jasio has written me a 
nice letter; he asks after Antek Bartolo. He has been through 
a good school of misfortune, has passed through that necessary 
alembic, and has come out of it a man ; I should like to see him 
here. If you are going to travel, I will do the same, for I doubt 
whether I shall spend next summer, like this one, in Paris. If 

1 eagerness. 

343 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

God gives us health, we will meet, and embrace, and talk. More 
after the concert. Méry is no longer here to write to you for me. 

I embrace you most heartily, 

Ch. 
To all. 



243. 

[In French] 

To Solange Clésinger. 

[Paris] Thursday, 17 February [1848]. 

Since your letter came, I have been in bed for several days 
with a frightful grippe, and have given a concert at Pleyel's. 
Between while, I have started some thirty scribbles to you, and 
had even finished a letter, when your husband came last week 
to see me and give me news of you. So my letter needed rewrit- 
ing, to tell you that I had found your husband well and satisfied 
with his marbles, and to tell you also how sorry I am about your 
horrid jaundice. Soon now you will have your husband with you, 
which will complete your convalescence. He will give you the 
news from here better than I could ever write it. Leroux is in 
Paris. I met him at Mme Marliani's. He asked me to let him 
come and see me again; he was very tactful and did not talk 
about the country [Nohant] . M. de Bonnechose is here. Grzym. is 
in bed. Paris is ill, and you do well to stay at Guillery. Write 
me a word in pencil, please, in one of your spare moments; I 
shall not be so slow in answering now that my grippe and my 
concert are over. Maurice is in Paris. He is not living here. 
He came to see De Larac without coming upstairs to me. Poor 
boy, he tricked the people of the house needlessly. Mlle de Ro- 
zières is sure to have written to you. I must finish my epistle, for 
my lessons are to begin. It is needless to tell you how unhappy 
I am about not being able to write to you always and easily. 

Your very devoted 

Ch. 



344 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
244. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

[Paris] Friday, 3 March [1848]. 

I cannot refrain from writing at once to tell you how happy I 
am to know that you are a mother and are well. The arrival of 
your little daughter has given me, as you may suppose, more joy 
than the arrival of the Republic. Thank God, your suffering is 
over and a new world begins for you. Be happy and take care 
of yourselves, all of you. I badly needed your good news. I 
was in bed during the events; I have had neuralgia all last week. 
Paris is quiet, from fear. Everyone is enrolled. Everyone is in 
the national guard. The shops are open, but no buyers. The for- 
eigners are waiting with their passports for the ruined railways 
to be repaired. The clubs are beginning to form. But I should 
never end, if I began to write to you about things here. 

Thanks again for your good letter. 

Your most devoted 

Ch. 

Mallefille is governor of Versailles. That Louis Blanc should 
be at the Medici Palace as president of the commission for la- 
bour organization (the really big question of the day) is quite 
natural. Barbes is governor of the same Luxembourg Palace. For- 
give my erasures and muddles. Mlle de Rozières will write to 
you. 



345 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
245. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

Paris, 5 March, Sunday [1848]. 

Yesterday I went to Mme Marliani, and as I left, I met your 
Mother in the doorway of the vestibule; she was entering with 
Lambert. I said good day to your Mother, and my second phrase 
was : had she had any news of you lately. — "A week ago," she 
replied. — " You have heard nothing yesterday, or the day 
before? " — " No." — " Then I can tell you that you are a 
grandmother; Solange has a daughter, and I am very glad that I 
am able to be the first to give you this news." I bowed and went 
downstairs. Combes the Abyssinian (who has tumbled right 
into the Revolution on arriving from Morocco) was with me, 
and as I had forgotten to say that you are doing well, an impor- 
tant thing, especially for a mother (now you will easily under- 
stand that, Mother Solange), I asked Combes to go up again, 
as I could not manage the stairs, and tell her that you are going 
on well, and the child too. I was waiting for the Abyssinian at the 
bottom of the stairs when your Mother came down with him and 
put to me, with much interest, some questions about your health. 
I answered that you had written me a few words, yourself, in 
pencil, the day after the birth of your child, that you have suf- 
fered much, but that the sight of your little daughter has made 
you forget everything. She asked me whether your husband was 
with you, and I replied that the address of your letter appeared 
to me to be in his handwriting. She asked me how I am; I re- 
plied that I am well, and asked the concierge to open the door. 
I bowed, and found myself in the Square d'Orléans on foot, es- 
corted by the Abyssinian. 

Your Mother has been here for some days, according to what 
Boccage told Grzym. She is lodging with Maurice at rue Condé, 
No. 8, near the Luxembourg. She dines at Pinson's (the restau- 
rant where we once went with Delatouche) ; that is where she re- 
ceives, and it was there that she yesterday told Combes to call 

346 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

on her, saying that she is soon leaving for Nohant. I presume 
that a letter from you awaits her at Nohant. I thought her look- 
ing well. I suppose that she is happy in the triumph of republi- 
can ideas, and that the news which I gave her yesterday still 
further increases her joy. 

Take care of yourself, take care of all three of you. 

Your devoted 

Ch. 

Things continue calm. Mallefille is no longer at Versailles; 
he was in the government for only three days. 



246. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

[Paris'] Saturday, 11 March [1848]. 

Courage, and be calm. Take care of yourself for those who 
are left. 1 1 have just seen your husband. He is well, he has cour- 
age and hope. Yesterday and the day before, I saw him work- 
ing at his bust of liberty ; the bust is finished today, and is con- 
sidered superb by all the Thorès of Paris. Tomorrow it is to 
be moved to the hôtel de ville. Marrast is mayor of Paris (M. 
Bascans will be useful). Your husband knows M. Caussidière, 
who is at the head of the police and who will have the bust es- 
corted by the national guard. He asked me to tell you that he has 
too much running about today to be able to write to you, and he 
will write tomorrow after the bust has been moved, which is to be 
at 7. So have no anxiety about his health. You see that he does 
what he can, and that he has courage; take care of yourself in 
convalescence, so that your separation may be more endurable 
to both of you. Try to be calm, then, for pity's sake try to be 
calm; with the good care you will have from your Father and 

1 Solange's baby had died a few days after birth. 

347 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Luce (whom I have always thought of as your kind and attached 
Luce) your health will return and a new happiness will begin. 

I am told that your Mother has left Paris. I have not seen her 
again since that moment on leaving Mme Marliani's. She has 
received your letters at Nohant. She is much to be pitied ; I feel 
sure that it is a great blow to her, and I have no doubt that she 
will do all she can for you. Courage, then, and calmness. I leave 
all condolences aside, they seem poor things in the presence of 
the great sorrows. 

Your devoted 

Ch. 

I will write to you often. Don't be anxious about your husband. 



247. 

[In French] 

To the Same. 

[Paris] Wednesday, 22 March [1848], 

I have just received your letter and have this moment sent 
to your husband's studio, to know whether he has already 
started. If he left Paris the day before yesterday, he should 
now be with you, and he will tell you all you wished to know 
about the state of affairs here. Everyone is waiting calmly, 
and things are being quietly disorganized. I am very glad about 
the kind letters that your mother has written to you. Take care 
of your health now, and all will go as well as possible. Take 
advantage of a few rays of sunshine in the south, for here the 
weather is atrocious. 

Your devoted 

Ch. 

To your husband. 

348 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



248. 



To JULJAN FONTANA. 

Paris, 4 April 1848. 

My Dear. 

Receive as if he were my father, or my elder and therefore 
better brother, my dear Herbaut, who was my first acquaint- 
ance in Paris, when I came here from home. I charge you by 
the Lyceum, 1 be as kind as possible to him, for he deserves it. 
He is good, and worthy, and enlightened, and everything, and 
he will grow fond of you in spite of your bald head. You are a 
sulky beast, you have never given me a decent word in any of 
your letters ; but it makes no difference ; somewhere in your heart 
you love me just as much as I love you. And perhaps that is 
even more now, since we have lost Wodziński, and Witwicki, 
and the Platers, and Sobański, and are both left orphaned 
Poles. 

You are my good old Juljan, and that is enough. 

I embrace you heartily, my Dear. 

Ch. 

If you want to do something good, just sit quiet, and go back 
only when something really certain begins at home. Our folk 
are assembling in Poznań [Posen]. Czartoryski has gone first, 
but God knows how all that will turn out, so that there may be 
Poland again — What the newspapers write here is all lies. 
There is no republic in Cracow, nor has the Austrian emperor 
called himself king of Poland, and in the Lwów [Lemberg] 
papers, in the address to the Stadion, no one asks him to do so, 
as quoted here. The King of Prussia also has no particular 
thought of getting rid of Poznań. He made himself a laughing- 
stock at home; but in spite of that, the Poznań Germans write 
him addresses, saying that: — "as this land was won by the 
blood of their fathers, and as they do not even know Polish, they 
declare that they do not wish to be under any other government 

1 Where Chopin and Fontana had been schoolfellows. 

349 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

than the Prussian." All this, you see, smells of war, and where 
it will start, no one can tell. But when it does begin, all Germany 
will be in it ; the Italians have already begun. Milan has driven 
out the Austrians, but they are still sticking in the provinces, 
and will fight. France will doubtless help, for in order to do 
things well they must kick out a certain mob — The Russians 
will doubtless have trouble on their own hand if they molest 
the Prussians. The Galician peasants have given an example to 
those of Wołynia and Podolia; there will be no lack of fright- 
ful things; but at the end of it all is Poland, splendid, great; in 
a word, Poland. Therefore, however impatient we may be, let us 
wait till the cards have been well shuffled, that we may not waste 
our strength, which will be so needed at the right moment. That 
moment is near, but it is not today. Perhaps in a month, perhaps 
in a year. All here are convinced that our affairs will be decided 
before autumn. 

Your old one 

[A postscript by Teofil Kwiatkowski.] 



249. 

To Wojciech Grzymała in Paris. 
[Paris, undated.] 

I will do as you like, but you are making a mistake if you are 
really throwing away what is necessary. I will make a special 
effort to be with you at a quarter before 6, but don't be surprised 
if I am half a minute late. In any case I will be with you be- 
fore 6. 

Your most affectionate 

Ch. 



350 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
250. 

To the Same. 

London, Good Friday [21 April 1848]. 

I crossed the water without much seasickness. But not by the 
Courier, and not with my new travelling acquaintances, for they 
had to search, by boat, for the vessel on the sea. So I preferred 
the ordinary way of travelling, and yesterday arrived here at 6, 
as I had been obliged to rest for a few hours at Folkstone. I had 
a sleep, and now am writing to you. 

The good Erskines have thought of everything, even of choco- 
late, not only of a lodging — which last, however, I shall change, 
as since yesterday there is a better one in their very street for 4 
guineas a week. I am at 10 Bentinck Street, Cavendish Square, 
but in a few days I shall move, so write to their address : 44 W el- 
beck Street. They asked me a lot after you. You would not be- 
lieve how kind they are ; I have only just noticed that the paper 
on which I am writing has my monogram, and I have met with 
many such little delicate attentions. Today, as it is Good Friday 
and one can't do anything here, I am going to the intimates of the 
ex-king, 1 who lives outside the town. How did you get home? Did 
you witness any fighting on the way? Did you have any success 
yesterday with the army? Please write, and may God bless you. 

Your old 

Ch. 

251. 

[Polish translation from French] 

To Auguste Franchomme in Paris. 
London, 1 May 1848. 

Dear Friend! 

I am here, but was nearly drowned on the way. At last I have 

a large and fine room, in which I can breathe and play, and 

1 Hoesick suggests that this may refer to the Perthuis family, who accom- 
panied Louis Philippe into exile. Chopin writes cautiously, avoiding names. 

351 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

where today, for the first time, the sun has paid me a visit. This 
morning I am breathing a little better, but the whole of this last 
week I have not felt too well. 

How are things with you, and what are your wife and children 
doing? I presume that you are definitely beginning to look out 
for the former tranquillity, is that so? Here I have had several 
dull callers. I have not yet delivered my letters of introduction. 
I am just wasting my time, and am glad of it. I love you, and am 
glad of that too. 

Yours with all my heart, 

Ch. 

The very best greetings to Mme Franchomme. 
48 Dover Street. Write to me and I will also write to you. 



252. 

To Adolf Gutman in Paris. 

London, 48 Dover Street 48, Piccadilly. Saturday, 6 May 1848. 

Dear Friend! 

Well, at last I am installed in the abyss that is called London. 
I am breathing better just these last days, because it is only these 
days that the sun has shown its face. I have called on M. d'Orsay, 
and though my letter was badly delayed, he received me very 
well. Please thank the princess x in my name and his. I have not 
yet paid all my calls, because many of those to whom I have 
letters have not yet arrived. Erard was very courteous, and 
placed a piano at my disposal. I have one instrument of Broad- 
wood and one of Pleyel : three in all ; but what is the use, when 
I have not the time to play on them. I have innumerable visits 
to pay, and my days flash past like lightning. Today I have 
not had one free moment of time to write to Pleyel. Tell me 
about yourself; what are you thinking about now? How are 
your people getting on? With us it's bad. I hear of many griev- 

1 Czartoryska. 

352 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

ous things from over there. Nevertheless, I have got to be heard ; 
I have been asked to play in the Philharmonic; I would rather 
not. At the end, no doubt, if I play before the queen, I shall have 
to give a morning recital in a private house with admission 
limited to a certain number of persons. That, at least, is what 
I should like. But all this is just projects, nothing but projects. 
Write fully about yourself. I am always yours, my good Guciu. 

Ch. 

One evening lately I heard Miss Lind in the Sonnambula. 
It was very beautiful. I met her personally. Mme Viardot has 
called on me. She also will appear in Sonnambula. All the 
Parisian pianists come here. Prudent's concert at the Philhar- 
monic was not very successful; they want classical things there. 
Thalberg has been engaged for 12 concerts in the same theatre 
where Lind appears. Halle is going to play Mendelssohn. 



253. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 

[London] Thursday, 11th [May 1848]. 

Dearest Life 

I am just back from the Italian theatre. Jenny Lind sang for 
the first time this year, and the Queen showed herself for the 
first time since the chartists. Both produced a great effect, — 
and, on me, so did old Wellington, who sat underneath the 
Queen's box, like an old monarchical dog in his kennel, under 
his crowned Lady. I have met J. Lind, and she very graciously 
sent me a most excellent stall with her card. As I had a good 
place, I heard well. She is a typical Swede; not in an ordinary 
light, but in some sort of Polar dawn. She is enormously ef- 
fective in Sonnambula. She sings with extreme purity and cer- 
tainty, and her piano notes are steady, and as even as a hair. 

A stall costs 2j guineas. 

353 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



254. 



To the Same. 

London, Saturday, 13 May [1848]. 

My Dear! 

It's not even laziness that has kept you from hearing any- 
thing from me, but just time thrown away on nothing. I can't 
get out of bed before eight. My Italian, who is concerned with 
himself and his accounts, wastes my time in the morning; after 
10 begin tribulations which bring in no money, and, about 1, 
a few lessons. I can neither walk, nor be very active, so I can't 
get about over my affairs; but I see that they are going some- 
how, and if the season were to last 6 months, I might get a 
little done. Up to now, I know nothing. The day after tomorrow 
the duchess of Sutherland is to present me to the Queen, who 
will visit her in gratiam for a christening. If the Queen and 
prince Albert, who know about me, should be pleased, it will 
be good, for I shall begin from the top. I have been offered the 
Philharmonic, but don't want to play there because it would 
be with the orchestra. I have been there, to observe. Prudent 
played his concerto, and it was a fiasco. There one must play 
Beethoven, Mozart or Mendelsohn [sic], and although the di- 
rectors and others tell me that my concertos have already been 
played there, and with success, I prefer not to try, for it may 
come to nothing. The orchestra is like their roast beef or their 
turtle soup ; excellent, strong, but nothing more. All that I have 
written is needless as an excuse; there is one impossible thing: 
they never rehearse, for everyone's time is dear nowadays ; there 
is only one rehearsal, and that is public. 

I have not yet been able to deliver all my letters ; everybody 
has to be caught at the same hour, between 1 and 2. 

People are writing fine articles about me in the papers. And 
yesterday at a Covent Garden concert Mme Viardot sang my 
mazurkas and had to repeat them. She came to a reception of 
mine with her husband. I returned the call, but did not find 
them in. She behaves quite differently from the way she did 

354 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

in Paris, and sang my things without my asking it. She has ap- 
peared in Sonnambula at the same theatre as Grisi, Persiani, 
Alboni, Mario, etc. This theatre (Covent Gard.) rivals the 
Queen's theatre {Hay Market), where are Jenny Lind and 
La Blachę. Miss Lind also made her first appearance in Son- 
nambula. I send you a trashy thing, written two weeks ago. 
Mme Viardot has not been so successful; the Queen did not 
come, and she was hampered by having only Flavio instead of 
Mario to sing with her. She called on me when I was out, and 
I am to see them on Sunday. Yesterday I was at dinner with 
J. Lind, who afterwards sang me Swedish things till midnight. 
They are as distinctive in character as our things. We have 
something Slavonic, they something Scandinavian, which are 
totally different; and yet we are nearer to each other than the 
Italian to the Spaniard. 

Here I know all the worst news about the Duchy of Poznań 
[Posen] from Koźmian Stan[isław] and Szulczewski, to whom 
Zaleski gave me a note. Misfortune and misfortune; I have lost 
all desire in my soul. I have 3 pianofortes; one Broadwood 
and one Erard besides the Pleyel one, but up till now I can 
play only on my own. At last I have a good lodging, but have 
scarcely got used to it when the landlord demands that I shall 
pay double the price or take another room (as it is I am pay- 
ing 26 guineas a month). It is true that I have a large and 
splendid drawing-room, and can give lessons (up to now I have 
5 persons), but I don't yet know what to do: probably I shall 
stay here, for the other room is both smaller and less good. 
I don't want to change an address I have already given. The 
pretext for the change is that nothing was in writing, so he is 
free to raise his price. 

About Sol, my heart aches. They are to be pitied, for things 
can never turn out well there. That B[orie] should weep, sur- 
prises me. If only the Mother and the children do not weep. 

I have not written to Pleyel yet. I don't know when. I em- 
brace you heartily, 

Your 

Ch. 



355 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



The English newspapers here write bad things about Mme S. 
For instance, that in some garden (probably the Luxembourg) 
Ledru R[ollin] was seen lying down, and Mme S. standing be- 
side him, carrying on a conversation. 



255. 

To the Same. 

[London] 48 Dover Street, Piccadilly, 

Friday, 2 June 1848. 

To all Friends. 
My Life. 

Here we have had bad weather for a week, and it does not 
agree with me. Besides that I have to go into society every 
evening till late. I am not strong enough for such a life. If it 
only brought in money; but till now I have had only two paid 
evenings at 20 guineas. I give a few lessons in the house at a 
guinea, and still have no notion of a decent concert. I have 
played before the Queen, and the Prussian prince Albert, and 
Wellington, and all the most elegant persons, at the Duchess 
of Sutherland's. Everything apparently went very well, but up 
to the 23rd the Court is in mourning for some aunt, so nothing 
is going on, and I doubt that I shall be invited there. I don't 
want to play at the Philharmonic, for it will not give me a penny, 
only enormous fatigue: one rehearsal, and that in public; and 
to have any success you must play Mendelsohn [sic]. The great 
world usually gives only balls or vocal concerts; the Queen 
has not yet given a concert, nor has Devonshire; only balls. I 
give one lesson a week to Sutherland's daughter. The Duchess 
of Sommerset [sic] also is very amiable to me; invites me to 
evenings, which the son of Don Carlos usually frequents; also 
the Westminsters, and everybody that the Lady Duchess (who 
at the coronation has to follow immediately behind the queen ! ! ) 
can receive. But the Duke is close-fisted, so they don't pay. So 
I shall not go there today, in spite of the Spanish prince, as I 

356 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

have to dine at eight at Lady Gainsborough's (she has been very 
amiable to me). She gave a matinée and presented me to the 
first ladies. If I could run about all day long from Anasz to 
Kaifasz, if I could have a few days without blood-spitting, if I 
were younger, if I were not prostrate under my affections as I 
am, I might be able to start life again. Add a good servant who 
would look after me and not waste money and things. My lodg- 
ing and carriage make it impossible to put things off; then my 
man wastes my time. My kind Scottish ladies show me a great 
deal of friendliness here; I always dine there when I'm not 
dining out in society. But they are used to jigging about and 
to dragging round London all day long with visiting-cards, and 
I'm only half alive. After three or four hours of jolting in 
a carriage, it's as if I had travelled from Paris to Boulogne. 
And the distances here ! — There was a Polish ball here, and 
it was a great success. I did not go though I had a ticket, for I 
did not feel up to it, and before it I had a dinner at Lady 
Kinlogh's [sic] with a big company of lords, chancellors and 
beribboned-shirted devils. I am introduced, and don't know to 
whom, and am not in London at all. 20 years in Poland, 17 
in Paris; no wonder I'm not brilliant here, especially as I don't 
know the language. They don't talk when I play, and they 
speak well of my music everywhere; but my little colleagues, 
whom they are used to shoving aside here; 1 it is that they con- 
sider me some sort of amateur, and that I shall soon be a grand 
seigneur, because I wear clean shoes and don't carry visiting 
cards stating that I give home lessons, play at evening parties, 
etc. Old Lady Rothschild asked me how much I charge, be- 
cause some lady who had heard me had asked her about it. As 
Lady Sutherland had given me 20 guineas, and as Broadwood, 
on whose piano I play, had suggested that price, I answered: 
20 guineas. The good lady, obviously kind, thereupon told me 
that it is true I play very well, but that she advises me to take 
less, as moderation is necessary this season. 

So I see that people are not so open-handed here, and that 
difficulties over money exist everywhere. For the bourgeois class 
one must do something startling, mechanical, of which I am not 

1 Sentence ungrammatical in original. 

357 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

capable. The upper world, which travels, is proud, but culti- 
vated, and just, when they are minded to examine anything; but 
so much distracted by thousands of things, so surrounded by 
the boredom of conventionalities, that it is all one to them 
whether music is good or bad, since they have to hear it from 
morning till night. For here they have flower-shows with music, 
dinners with music, sales with music: Savoyards, Bohemians, 
swarms of my colleagues, and all mixed up. 

I write to you as if you did not know London! I should like 
to give a concert in some private great house; if I succeed, I 
shall have about 150 guineas. That is rare here, for an opera 
brings in a little over 1000, and before the curtain can go up, 
over 900 goes in expenses! I don't know about both operas, or 
what they earn. Yesterday I again saw Jenny Lind in Lucy of 
Lammermoor. Very good; everyone was enthusiastic. But Gut- 
man, poor fellow; how could he venture to play tricks with 
his hands! Tell him to be careful and not tire his hands too 
soon. Mme Viardot has not had much success here, because 
there are Grisi and Alboni ; you know what favourites they are. 
Viardot called on me two days ago. She told me nothing about 
Grzegorz, except that she had heard news of him. It seems to 
have cooled off a little. Poor Sol. If her husband comes here, 
what is she to do? I am not far from thinking that the Mother 
is on good terms with her son-in-law, and now, if she has seen 
him and started to protect him again, may have forgiven him 
altogether; especially as he is hail-fellow-well-met with Thore, 
in whose paper she writes, and who is said to have told that 
Rousseau about Augustine. What has become of that puppet? 
And Arago; my God, what an ambassador! He doesn't know 
a word of German. If it were to Bavaria, that would be dif- 
ferent; he's a friend of Lola Montes! Liszt would be better as 
a diplomatist. By the way, last week I was at a dinner here with 
Guizot; it made me sad to see. It's gilded over, but he suffers 
morally, though not without hope! 

I made a mistake; I've doubled this sheet of paper. Every- 
thing is quiet here; no one bothers over the Irish and Chartist 
questions. They are not such huge affairs as they seem from the 
distance; and people here are more concerned with the state 

358 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

of things in Paris, Italy and Poland, about which the Times 
recounts such fantastic things that even the English are amazed 
at its ill will. Chojecki has a bee in his bonnet about the Bo- 
hemians interfering. Let these fools mess things up if they like, 
so long as it's easy later to wash off the pitch. If the trouble 
gets any worse, they'll have a heavy account to settle with God. 
I embrace you heartily. 

Your old 

Ch. 



256. 
To Ignacy Krzyżanowski in London. 

May the Lord God help you in your work. 

Chopin 
London, 6 July 1848. 



257. 

To Wojciech Grzymała 
[London, 8-17 July 1848.] 

Forgive my sending an old beginning (8th July) ; but I will 
finish it today. 

My dearest Life ! 

God has preserved you these last days, which have been 
the real beginning of the (apparently motivated) obstinacy of 
two parties. Up till now it was in people's heads, in their imagi- 
nations, in books; in the name of culture, of justice, of soli- 
darity, and so on; but now this mud and misery will call for 
revenge. And to revenge there is no end! A civil war of prin- 
ciples; then, inevitably, the fall of civilization as the minds 
of today conceive of it. Your great-great-great-grandchildren 
will travel, in a few hundred years, from a free Poland to a 
regenerated France, or to something else in France's place. 

359 



Chopin's letters 



Yesterday (July 7th) I gave a second matinée in Lord Fal- 
muth's [sic] house. Mme Viardot sang me my mazurkas 
among other things. It was very beautiful; but I don't know 
whether I made 100 guineas. I shan't know till Monday. The 
season here is finishing. I don't know how my plans will turn 
out. I have not much savings in my pocket, and don't know 
what I shall do. I may go to Scotland. My Scottish ladies are 
kind and lovable, but sometimes they bore me horribly. I have 
sent away the stupid Italian. I am keeping the same lodging, 
for, with three pianofortes, I must have a large drawing-room. 
I have a better servant. My health varies from hour to hour; 
but often in the mornings it seems as if I must cough my life 
out. I'm depressed in spirit, but my head gets muddled; I even 
avoid solitude, so as not to think, for I must not be ill long 
here, and want to avoid getting feverish. 

What is Sol doing? Rozières has written me a nice letter. 
She's a good soul. But write to me about the Mother. Is Clés[in- 
ger] going to Russia? There's cholera there now! — The fool! 
— Write me a line about them. Is the Princess safe? Has 
Cichocki good news? Gut [man] has written to me, the good 
fellow; I'm glad he did not break off. Here they are not afraid 
of any disturbances, and if your papers write anything, there's 
not much truth in it. Everyone who has even a little property 
is enrolled as a constable, and among them there are many 
Chartists, who don't want any violence. 

At this moment I have received a letter from Rosier [es]; 
she says she saw you going to the wounded Dubose. Please wish 
him good health. I am going to Viardot, to thank her. I will 
confess to you that I did not want to ask her to sing for me; 
but her brother was with me when Broadwood offered me Lord 
Falmuth's [sic] drawing-room, and I went at once to the sister, 
who most willingly promised to sing. Among other things she 
sang my mazurkas. Tell that to de Rozières: that Mme V. was 
kind, for it will get about here. Mme S., I know, wrote to V. to 
inquire anxiously about me! ! ! What a part she must be play- 
ing there; the just mother. 

15 July. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I can't finish your letter; My nerves are all on the jump. 
I suffer from some kind of silly depression, and, with all my 
resignation — I don't know — I worry about what to do with 
myself. After deducting lodging and carriage, all I shall have 
been able to scrape together will perhaps not come to more 
than 200 guineas (about 5000 francs). In Italy you can live 
a year on that, but here, not half a year. The season is almost 
finished. I have not played at the Queen's palace, though I have 
played before the Queen (at the Sutherlands'). The Duchess 
of Sutherland] has left London. So perhaps the Queen's direc- 
tor has dug a pit for me because I did not return his call, or 
because I would not play at the Philharmonic. If the season 
here lasted six months, I could gradually get known after my 
fashion ; but as it is, there is no time. Everything here is in such 
a rush. 

Every evening I am out. Last week, at Lady Combermere's 
alone, I met the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, one of the 
Weimars (an old lady), and the [Duke] of Hess; all of them 
very polite. Here and there I am beginning to get a reputation, 
but it needs time and the season is coming to an end. Some 
newspapers have made a fuss of me, and people say that counts 
for a lot here. But what are not so plentiful as they say, are 
guineas. There's a great deal of lying; directly they don't want 
anything, they have gone into the country. One lady pupil of 
mine has gone into the country without paying for nine lessons; 
and others, who are supposed to take two lessons a week, 
usually miss both; so there is more pretence than fact. I'm 
not surprised, because they are trying to do too much all round. 
One pupil came here from Liverpool for a week! I gave her 
five lessons, as they don't play on Sunday, and she is satis- 
fied. Lady Peel, for instance, wants me to give lessons to her 
daughter, who has a great deal of ability, but, as she has had 
a teacher who took half a guinea twice a week, she wants me 
to give only one lesson a week, so that the effect on her purse 
shall be the same. This is to be able to say that she is having 
lessons from me; and she will probably leave town in two 
weeks. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Monday, July 17. 

I have just had a letter from you, and hasten to answer. First 
of all, my Life, I had to reject the newspapers that you sent 
me, for the post office demanded one pound and fifteen shillings 
for them, which comes to 45 francs. As I had your letter, I was 
less grieved at having to refuse newspapers at such a price ; you 
had written on the envelope, and therefore the package was 
charged at letter rate. I forgot to tell you that the Charivari 
which you sent me once, cost me 5 shillings and something, also 
because you had written something on the envelope and it was 
therefore counted as a letter. From 5 shillings to 1 pound and 
15 is a big difference; so I asked them to explain, and got my 
landlord to translate for me. It was the weight, at the postal 
rate. I rejected the parcel, and think it cannot be returned to 
you, as your address is probably not on it. If, by ill luck, it 
comes back to you and you have to pay, you had better return 
it again to me. But anyhow, don't do that again; because 
these things are carefully examined here, stamped with post 
office marks, and, as you see, heavily charged. 

My Scottish ladies are kind, and I gave them your letter; 
but they bore me so that I don't know what to do. They want 
to insist that I should go to their homes in Scotland; that's all 
right, but nowadays I have no heart for anything. Here, what- 
ever is not boring is not English. 

What is Sol doing? And her mother? And de Rozières? A 
propos of the letter that you enclosed in yours : it's a fool, whom 
I helped to leave Paris (his name is Wieman) and who now 
writes for money, so that he can come back to Paris. He's an 
ass! A year ago I was almost maintaining him; he was de- 
termined to go; he went with the first section, and now he's 
in trouble again. May the Lord keep and preserve us; — the 
things that happen to our folk! 

I embrace you heartily. 

Your most affectionate 

Ch. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 
258. 

To the Same. 
[London] July 1848. 

My Life. Thanks for all your kind words and for the for- 
warded letter from home. Thank God, they are well; but they 
worry needlessly about me. I am depressed nowadays; I can't 
find any comfort, I have worn out all feeling — I only vegetate 
and wait for it to end soon. — Next week I go to Scotland, to 
a certain Lord Torphiken [sic], brother-in-law of my Scottish 
ladies, who are already in his house, near Edinburgh. He has 
sent me a letter of invitation; so has Lady Murray, a well- 
known great lady there, who is very fond of music. I will not 
enumerate a crowd of other oral invitations, with their ad- 
dresses, for I cannot drag from place to place; that kind of 
life has disgusted me — and I see no end to it before me. — " 
I shall stay in Scotland till the 29th of August; for the 29th 
I have accepted an engagement in Manchester, where there 
will be a big concern I am to play twice, without the orchestra, 
and they are giving me 60 pounds. Alboni is coming — but 
I don't care about that — I shall just sit down and play. I shall 
stay there two or three days, where Neukomm lives with rich 
local manufacturers. What I shall do with myself after that, 
I don't know; if only I could be sure that I shan't be laid up 
here in winter by illness! 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 
259. 

[Polish translation from French] 

To Auguste Franchomme. 
Edinburgh, 6 August [1848], 
Colder House, 11 August. 

Very Dear Friend 

I don't know how I ought to write to you, but I think it would 
be almost better not even to try to console you for the loss of 
your father. 

I understand your grief; even time does not always heal this 
kind of pain. 

I left London a few days ago, and made the journey to Edin- 
burgh (407 English miles) in twelve hours. After a day's 
rest in Edinburgh, I arrived at Calder House (twelve English 
miles from Edinburgh), the castle of Lord Torpichen, Mrs. 
Erskine's brother-in-law, where I expect to stay till the end 
of the month and rest after my London labours. 

I have given two musical matinées, which people apparently 
enjoyed; this does not prevent my having been equally bored. 
But without them I don't know how I could have managed 
the three months in expensive London, keeping up a large apart- 
ment, as I was forced to do there, a carriage and a manservant. 
My health might be worse, but I am weaker all the time, and 
still unable to bear this climate. Miss Stirling wanted to write 
to you from London, and asks me to explain to you. The reason 
was that these ladies had a lot of travel preparations to make 
before starting for Scotland, where they expect to spend many 
months. One of your pupils, named Drechsler, if I am not mis- 
taken, is living in Edinburgh. He called on me in London, and 
impressed me as a nice young fellow, much attached to you. 
He goes in for music a good deal with one of the great ladies 
here, Lady Murray, one of my 60-year-old London pupils, 
whose castle also I have promised to visit. But I don't know 
how I shall manage it, for I have promised to be in Manchester 
by the 28th of August, to play at a concert for 60 pounds. 

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Neukomm is living there; but I hope he won't want to im- 
provise on the same day; I am counting on earning the 60 
pounds — What to do with myself next, I don't know. But I do 
earnestly wish that somebody would give me to the end of my 
life an annual pension for not composing, for never having 
invented a tune à la Osborne or Sowiński (both of whom are 
my excellent friends, one Irish, the other my countryman), — 
of which I am prouder than of my perfidious proxy, Antony 
Kontski, that northern Frenchman and southern scoundrel. 

After these parenthetic remarks, I must frankly admit to you 
that I don't yet know what I shall do in the autumn. But, what- 
ever should happen, don't blame me if you hear nothing from 
me, for I often think about writing to you. If you see Mlle de 
Rozières, or Grzymała, one or the other will have news of me; 
if not directly from me, in any case from some one of our 
common friends. 

There is a very beautiful park here, and the owner of the 
castle must also be called a very charming person; so I feel as 
happy here as is permitted to me at all. Of musical ideas there 
can be no question; I am utterly out of the running, and make 
on myself the impression of an ass at a masquerade, or rather 
a fiddle's E string on a bass viol: astonished, tricked, knocked 
off my balance, as completely as if I were listening to some 
tuneful phrase of Rodiot (before the 24th of February) or the 
bow-scraping of M. Cap (after the days of June). But I suppose 
they must be blessed with the best of health, since I can't man- 
age to avoid them in writing. 

But the next serious question is whether you, as I hope, after 
all these dreadful events, have not to mourn the loss of some 
friend? And how are your wife and children? Write me a line 
to London, at Broadwood's address, 33 Great Pulteney Street, 
Golden Square. Here I have the utmost (material) peace, and 
spend my time on the beautiful Scottish songs; I should like 
to compose a little, and even could do so, if only to give pleas- 
ure to these kind ladies, Mrs. Erskine and Miss Stirling. I have 
a Broadwood pianoforte in my room, and in the drawing-room 
is Miss Stirling's Pleyel; pens and paper also are not lacking. 
I hope that you also are composing something now; and may 

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I soon be able to hear the new-born work. I have friends in 
London who advise me to spend the winter there; but I shall 
follow only the advice of my je ne sais quoi; or rather, of who- 
ever advises me last, for I see it makes no practical difference, 
how long I think about it. 

Adieu, dear and loved Friend. Give Mme Franchomme my 
best wishes for her children. I hope that René amuses himself 
with his violoncello, that Cécile works hard, and that her little 
sister constantly reads her books. Please greet Mme Lasserve 
for me, and correct my spelling and my French. 

The population here is ugly, but apparently good-natured. On 
the other hand the cows are magnificent, but apparently in- 
clined to gore people. The milk, butter and eggs are irre- 
proachable, and so are their usual companions the cheeses and 
chickens. 



260. 

To JULJAN FONTANA. 

Colder House, Mid-Calder. 

Scotland (12 miles from Edinburgh, if that is any pleasure 

to you). 
18 August 1848. 

My Life. 

If I were well, I would go to London tomorrow to embrace 
you. It may be some time before we meet. You are my old 
cembalo on which time and circumstance have played their 
dismal tremolo. Yes; two old cembali, — though you will ob- 
ject to such companionship. That is without prejudice to either 
beauty or virtue; la table d'harmonie is excellent, but the 
strings have snapped and some of the pegs are missing. The 
worst is that we are the work of a fine instrument-maker: some 
Stradivarius sui generis, who is no longer here to repair us. 
We can't give out new notes under clumsy hands, and we choke 
down in ourselves all that which, for the want of an expert, no 
one can get out of us. For me, I scarcely breathe ; je suis tout prêt 

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à crever; x and you are doubtless growing bald, and will re- 
main above my gravestone, like our willow trees, do you re- 
member? that show bare tops — I don't know why poor Jasio 
and Antek come into my thoughts now, and Witwicki, and 
Sobański! Those with whom I was in the closest harmony have 
also died for me; even Ennike, our best tuner, has drowned 
himself. So now I have not left in the world even a pianoforte 
tuned as I am used to having it. Moos has died, and nobody 
makes such comfortable shoes for me now. If another 4 or 5 
desert me for St. Peter's gates, all the comforts of my life will 
be gone ad patres. My good fellows [brothers-in-law?] and my 
Mother and Sisters are alive, by God's grace; but there is 
cholera! And the good Tytus! As you see, you still count among 
my oldest memories, and I among yours, though you are doubt- 
less younger (what a lot of difference it makes nowadays, which 
of us is two hours older!). I assure you that I would gladly 
consent to be even much younger than you, if I could embrace 
you on my journey. That yellow fever has not carried you off, 
and jaundice me, is incomprehensible, — for both of us have 
been exposed to yellowness. I'm writing you rubbish because 
there's no sense in my head. I'm vegetating, and waiting pa- 
tiently for winter. I dream now of home, now of Rome; now 
of joy, now of grief. Nobody plays as I like nowadays, and 
I have grown so forbearing, that I could listen with pleasure 
to Sowinski's Oratorio, and not die. I remember Norblin, the 
painter, saying that a certain painter in Rome had seen the 
work of another one, and found it so unpleasant that he — died. 
What I have left is just a big nose and an undeveloped 4th 
finger. You are a worthless person if you don't write me a line 
in answer to this present epistre. You have chosen a bad time 
for your journey. But may the God of our Fathers guide you. 
Be happy ! — I think you have done well, to settle in New 
York instead of in Havana. If you see Emmerson [sic], your 
famous philosopher, remember me to him. Embrace Herbet, 
and kiss yourself, and don't be cross. 

Your old 

Ch. 

1 I am ready to peg out (die). 

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261. 



To his Family. 

[This letter is written on three sheets of paper with views of 

Edinburgh.] 

19 August 1848. 

My dearest ones. 

Thanks for your good letter, which reached me a week ago, 
forwarded from London. I spent 3 months in London, and kept 
fairly well. I gave two morning concerts, one at Mrs. Sartoris's, 
the other at Lord Falmouth's, with great success but without 
much fuss. [In a footnote:] Mrs. Sartoris, by birth Fanny 
Kemble, is the young daughter of a famous English actor; and 
herself a fine English singer; she was only 2 years on the stage, 
and then married Mr. Sartoris, a rich man of the world. She 
has been adopted by the whole of London's high society, goes 
everywhere, and everyone visits her. Our acquaintance dates 
from Paris. Lord Falmouth is a great musical amateur; rich, 
unmarried, grand seigneur; he offered me his mansion in St. 
James's Square for a concert. He has been very amiable. In 
the street you would offer him threepence, but in the house he 
keeps a crowd of servants, better dressed than himself. I knew 
his niece in Paris, but met him first at a concert in London. 
[Letter continues:] At one [concert] Mario sang for me 3 times, 
and I played 4 times; at the other Viardot sang 3 times and 
I played 4, which they much liked, for such short and concise 
concerts were new to them; they have only long, 20-number 
concerts with huge announcements. [In a footnote:] I send you 
a few words from the Athenœum, a paper respected by artists. 
I have no others ; for that matter, what do you want with others, 
— just somebody saying it's good ! Let Antek translate for you. 
[Letter continues:] I limited the audience to 200 at Lord 
Falm[outh]'s, and to 150 at Mrs. Sartoris's, which, at a guinea 
a ticket (deducting various expenses) brought in just on 300 
guineas. London is frightfully dear during the season; my 
lodging alone, without anything (it's true I had a very large 

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and high drawing-room, in which 3 pianofortes stood: one sent 
me by Pleyel, another from Erard, a third that Broadwood put 
in) — just my lodging, because it has a large and fine stair- 
case and a splendid entrance and is in Dover Street near Picca- 
dilly, cost 80 pounds. Now carriage, manservant, everything 
is enormously dear; so that if I had not had home lessons at 
a guinea, and several daily, I don't know what would have be- 
come of me. I had several grand evenings directly after I ar- 
rived, and I don't know whether I wrote to you from London — 
the Duchess of Sutherland had the Queen to dinner one day, 
and in the evening only 80 persons belonging to the most ex- 
clusive London society. Besides the Prince of Prussia (who 
was shortly leaving London) and the royal family, there were 
only such persons as old Wellington, and so on (though it is 
hard to find a parallel). The Duchess presented me to the 
Queen, who was amiable and talked with me twice. Prince 
Albert came up to the pianoforte. Everyone told me that both 
these things are rare. The Italians who sang that same evening 
were Mario, Lablache and Tamburini. No woman singer. I 
should like to describe to you the Duchess of Sutherland] 's 
palace, but I can't. All those who know say that the Queen of 
England has no such house. All the royal palaces and castles 
are old; splendid, but neither so tasteful nor so elegant as Staf- 
ford House (as the Duke of Sutherland's palace is called) ; it is 
as close to the London palace of St. James as Blacha. For 
instance, the staircases are famous for their magnificence. They 
are neither in the entrance nor in the vestibule; but in the mid- 
dle of the rooms, as if in some huge hall with most gorgeous 
paintings, statues, galleries, hangings, carpets; of the loveliest 
design with the loveliest perspective. On these stairs one could 
see the Queen, under a brilliant light, surrounded by all sorts 
of bediamonded and beribboned people with the garter, and 
all descending with the utmost elegance, carrying on conversa- 
tions, lingering on various levels, where at every point there is 
some fresh thing to admire. It is true one regrets that some 
Paul Veronese could not see such a spectacle, so that he could 
have painted one more masterpiece. After that evening at the 
Duchess of Sutherland] 's, I was told that I was to play in the 

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Queen's palace; but I did not play, I don't know why. Prob- 
ably because I did not apply for it, and here you have to apply 
for everything, there is such a congestion of things. Not only did 
I not apply, but I did not call on the court's Kapellmeister, or 
rather, the man who gets up concerts for the Queen, and con- 
ducts the Philharmonic Society's orchestra (which gives the 
best concerts here, answering to the Conservatoire in Paris). 
The Philharmonic Society invited me to play for them: a great 
favour, or rather honour; everyone who comes here tries for it, 
and this year neither Kalkb[renner] nor Halle played, in spite 
of much effort. But I refused, and this produced a bad im- 
pression among musicians, and especially among conductors. 
I refused once because I was not well; that was the reason I 
^ gave; but the real one was that I should only have had to play 
one of my concertos with the orchestra, and these gentlemen 
give only one rehearsal, and that in public, with entrance by 
free tickets. How can you rehearse, and repeat! So we should 
have played badly (although, apparently, they know my con- 
certos, and Mrs. Dulcken, a famous — hm! — pianist here, 
played one there last year) ; so I sent regrets to the Philharmonic 
Society. One newspaper took offence at this; but that does not 
matter. After my matinées many papers had good criticisms, 
excepting the Times, in which a certain Davison writes (a 
creature of poor Mendelssohn's) ; he does not know me, and 
imagines, I am told, that I am an antagonist of Mendelssohn. It 
does not matter to me. Only, you see, everywhere in the world 
people are actuated by something else than truth. But to come 
back to the London world. Well, my prix for an evening in 
London was 20 pounds, but I have had only 3 such evenings. 
The second was at the Marquis of Douglas's; he is a son of the 
duchess of Hamilton, whom I knew iong ago in Paris. The 
young marchioness is a Baden princess. She presented me to 
the duchess of Cambridge, the queen's aunt (who always talked a 
lot with me every time I met her afterwards) and to the (not 
reigning) princess of Weimar. The duke of Hess was there also 
and the élite of London ladies : — lady Jocelyn, one of the 
famous beauties; lady Lincoln, a sister of the Marq. Douglas, 
lady Granville (young), lady Cadogan (my former pupil, now 

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dame de compagnie to the duchess of Cambridge), and some di- 
plomatists, among whom are several Germans, who are in Lon- 
don and whom I knew long ago in Paris. My third paid appear- 
ance, or rather the first in order, was at Lady Gainsborough's. 
She was formerly maid of honour to the Queen, and has also 
collected round her the cream of the aristocratic world here. 
As you know, people here live by names and personages. Lady 
Dover, a niece of the duchess of Sutherland], the duchess of 
Argyll [sic], lady Stanley, whose daughter, my pupil in Paris, 
is now a maid of honour to the Queen. Why should I enumerate 
all these names! I have got to know very many of the great 
world,* among them for instance, the duchess of Somerset; the 
duke is the premier duke of England, and on great occasions, for 
instance at the coronation, she follows directly behind the Queen. 
[* Footnote:] Lady Ailesbury [sic], lady Peel, lady Gordon, 
lady Parke; among the literary men Carlisle [sżc], Rogers, an 
old, very famous poet and an honoured friend of Byron; Dick- 
ens, Hogarth; an intimate friend of Walter Scott, etc., etc., 
who wrote a fine article about my second concert in the De- 
linjus. 1 [Letter continues:] Among the notabilities is lady Byron, 
with whom I am on very friendly terms. We converse, like the 
goose with the sucking pig, she in English, I in French. I under- 
stand why she bored Byron. Her daughter, lady Lovelace (con- 
sidered a beauty), is another interesting person. But a person I 
was glad to meet here was lady Shelburne, formerly Mlle de 
Flahautt [sic], my pupil, and now daughter-in-law to lord 
Landsdowne (Lansdaun), the president of the council of minis- 
ters, who is himself very fond of music and every season gives 
big vocal concerts in his house. Lady Combermere is also a lady 
who has been very pleasant to me. Before leaving London I 
spent an evening at her house. The duke and duchess of Cam- 
bridge were there; also Wellington, and the Spanish pretender, 
Don Carlos's son, prince, or rather count Montemolin. Among the 
interesting persons I met were, for instance, lady [51c] Norton, 
famous for her beauty (and for her legal fight with her hus- 
band) [Footnote:] Barciński may know of her. [Letter con- 
tinues:] she is a daughter of Sheridan and a great favourite; lady 

1 Daily News. 

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Blessington, whose daughter has married that count d'Orsay who 
is a leader of fashion here, and whose wife has left him. Count 
d'Orsay was very amiable to me. I brought him a letter from 
his sister, the duchesse de Gramont. Besides that, he is himself 
an artist, does very good carving and sculpture, paints and 
draws. Among his fine busts is one of the marchioness of Douro, 
the wife of Wellington's son, (to whom also I had a letter). La 
marquise de Douro is one of the beauties here. Among the per- 
sons I liked was an excellent lady, Mrs. Milner Gibson, whose 
husband was in the Cabinet a few years ago; and lady Moles- 
worth, who was also very amiable to me. [Footnote:] I can't 
leave out lady Agasta [sic] Bruce, daughter of lady Elgin, and a 
maid of honour to the Queen's mother, the duchess of Kent. She 
is very kind and amiable, and good ; she also is an old acquaint- 
ance from Paris. [Letter continues:] It is difficult to enumerate 
them all, but I must remember Mrs. Grote, whom I met in Paris 
(at the Marlianis') . She is the wife of a member of Parliament, a 
very cultivated woman, enthusiastic protector of Jenny Lind. She 
met us at the same time.* — Once she invited only us two, and we 
did not leave the piano from 9 till 1 in the night. [* Footnote:] 
The Queen, who has come back to town after some hostile dem- 
onstrations by the opposition, was to have attended grand opera 
for a first public appearance, and the occasion chosen was the 
first appearance of Jenny Lind, who also had just arrived (Son- 
nambula), so there was an enormous rush for tickets; on the last 
evening, stalls were sold at 3 guineas. I did not know about it, 
having just arrived ; and on the very day, someone told me that 
if I knew Mrs. Grote, she could help me, as, apart from her own 
box, she has so many connections. I called on her, and she at once 
invited me to her own box. I was very glad, as I had seen neither 
the Queen, nor Jenny Lind, nor that gorgeous theatre (Keens). 1 
But Mrs. Grote's box was on the first floor, and I lose my breath on 
stairs; so on reaching home I found a ticket for one of the best 
stalls, from Lumley, the conductor, with the compliments of 
Miss Lind and Mrs. Grote. The performance was most magnifi- 
cent; the Queen received more applause than Jenny Lind; they 

1 "Queen's"? Jenny Lind, on returning to London, appeared in Sonnambula 
at Her Majesty's Theatre, on May 4th, 1848. 

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sang God save, with the whole audience standing, and Wellington 
and all the local notabilities. It was an imposing sight, that real 
respect and reverence for the throne, for law and order; they 
could not contain their enthusiasm. [Letter continues:] Miss 
Lind came to my concert! ! ! which meant a lot for the fools; she 
cannot show herself anywhere without people turning their opera 
glasses on her. But that she never sings anywhere except in the 
opera, not even at great functions, she would have sung for me, 
so Mrs. Grote said. But I had never dreamed of asking her to 
do so, although she is a kind girl and we are on excellent terms. 
It's not the same as with others. One can call it the Scandinavian 
streak; it's a totally different nature from southerners such as 
Pauline Viardot. She is not pretty, but pleasant-looking at home; 
on the stage I don't always like her, but in Sonnambula, from 
the middle of the second act, she is perfectly beautiful in every 
and all respects as an actress and as a singer. People say that 
she will marry Mrs. Grote's brother, but I know for certain that 
it is not true (they even say that she is secretly married; but her 
betrothed is waiting for her in Sweden). Mrs. Grote is a very 
kind woman, though eccentric and a good deal of a radical. She 
receives a great many interesting visitors ; dukes, and lords, and 
scholars; in a word, the celebrities of the great world. She talks 
in a bass voice, and does not wrap the truth in cottonwool. Some- 
one who does not agree with her views, on being asked : — 
"Comment trouvez-vous Mme Grote?" replied: — ei Je la 
trouve grotesque" Nevertheless, she has a kind heart, and has 
given me proofs of it: she invited me to visit her in the country 
with Miss Lind and Mrs. Sartoris; but I could not. Another per- 
son whom I like very much is Mrs. Sartoris (Fanny Kemble). 
She already knew me from old days, and at evening receptions 
in London society has never asked me to play if she saw I did 
not like it. She herself sings very well, and has a lovely voice. 
She has two children, as beautiful as angels. She herself was very 
pretty, but has grown fat now, so only the head remains, like a 
cameo. I feel at home with her; she is natural, she knows my 
little weaknesses through our common friends, such as Dessauer 
and Liszt. In talking with her I have often felt as if I were 
with someone who knows you; but all she knows are the rooms 

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in which we stayed at the Thun's in Tetschen, where she also has 
spent some pleasant hours. She tells me that they very often speak 
of us there. That is enough about London. I will not count up 
other persons to you, but among others I found here some old ac- 
quaintances who have been amiable to me ; for instance, Bulwer, 
formerly ambassador to Madrid; Lord Dudley Stewart; Com- 
ming [sic] Bruce, lady Elgin's father; Moneton Milner [Monck- 
ton Milnes?], etc. Broadwood, who is a real Pleyel here, has been 
the kindest and most genuine of friends. As you know, he is a 
very rich and highly cultivated man, whose father left the estate 
and the factory to him and himself settled down in the country. 
He has the very best connections ; he had Guizot and all his fam- 
ily staying with him ; and is beloved everywhere. I met lord Fal- 
mouth through him. To give you an idea of his English courtesy: 
one morning he called on me; I was tired, and told him I had 
slept badly. At night I came back from lady Somerset's, and 
found a new spring mattress and pillows on my bed. After much 
questioning, my good Daniel (that is the name of my present ex- 
cellent valet) told me that Mr. Broadwood had sent it and said he 
was not to tell me. Now, leaving London 10 days ago, I was met 
at the train for Edinburgh by a gentleman who introduced him- 
self as coming from Broadwood and gave me, instead of one 
seat, two (the second opposite so that no one should crowd me) ; 
also, in the same coach he had put a certain Mr. Wood, an ac- 
quaintance of Broadwood, who knew me too (he had seen me at 
Lipinski's at Frankfort in 1836) , and who has his own music firm 
in Edinburgh and Glasgow. Broadwood has also arranged that 
my Daniel (who is a better person than many gentlefolk, and 
handsomer than many Englishmen) should travel in the same 
coach; and I made the 407 English miles from London to Edin- 
burgh, by Birmingham and Carlisle, in 12 hours by express train 
(the class of train that stops least often) . I stopped at Edinburgh, 
where a lodging had been engaged for me in the best hotel 
(Douglas's), for one and a half days, to rest. I went to look at 
the exquisite city, of which I send some very poor views on this 
paper (I could not get any better ones). [Footnote:] People 
who constantly have beautiful things in front of their noses, al- 
ways admire what is less fine, but unfamiliar ; because they are 

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not used to it. [Letter continues:] I met there some courteous 
friends of my friends, who took me about in their carriage to see 
the town. (Everybody is going to Scotland now, for the opening 
of the shooting season.) After a rest in Edinburgh, where, pass- 
ing a music-shop, I heard some blind man playing a mazurka of 
mine, I got into a carriage, harnessed in the English style, with 
a led horse, which lord Torpichen had sent, and came here, 12 
miles from Edinburgh. Lord Torpichen is an old Scotchman, 
seventy years old, a brother-in-law of Mrs. Erskine and Miss 
Stirling, my excellent Scottish ladies, whom I have long known in 
Paris and who take so much trouble for me. I constantly visited 
them in London, and to them I could not refuse to come here; es- 
pecially as I have nothing more to do in London, as I need a rest, 
and as lord Torpichen gave me a very hearty invitation. The 
place is called Calder House (pronounce Kolderhaus). It is 
an old manor surrounded by an enormous park with ancient 
trees; you can see only lawns, trees, mountains and sky. The 
walls are 8 feet thick; there are galleries on all sides, dark 
corridors with endless numbers of ancestral portraits, of various 
colours, in various costumes, some Scotch, some in armour, 
some in robes; nothing lacking for the imagination. There 
is even some kind of red cap [ghost], which appears, but 
which I have not yet seen. Yesterday I looked at all the por- 
traits, but I have not yet seen which one it is that wanders 
about the castle. The room which I inhabit has the most beauti- 
ful view imaginable. [Footnote:] Though this is not the most 
beautiful part of Scotland. Towards Stirling, beyond Glasgow, 
and in the north part is the fine scenery. I have promised to go 
in two or three weeks to lady Murray, my first London pupil, who 
usually stays in Edinburgh and is a leader in musical matters. 
Lord Murray lives in one of the most picturesque parts, by the 
sea ; one has even to go by sea. Also I must go later to Keir, near 
Stirling (a district famous for its beauty, near the Lady of the 
Lake), to Miss Stirling's cousin. These kind Scotch ladies here! 
There is nothing I can think of that does not at once appear; 
even the Parisian newspapers are brought to me every day. It is 
quiet, peaceful and comfortable; only I must leave in a week. 
Lord [Torpichen] has asked me to come for the whole summer 

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next year; they would let me stay for the rest of my life; but 
what's the use? [Letter continues:] They have put me far from 
everyone else, so that I can play and do what I like freely; for 
with these people, as Bartek will tell you, the first thing to do for 
a guest is, not to interfere with him. I found a Broadwood piano 
in my room; in the drawing-room there is a Pleyel, which Miss 
Stirling brought with her. In England la vie de château 1 is very 
pleasant. Every day someone arrives to stay for a few days. 
The arrangements are most luxurious: libraries, horses, car- 
riages at your disposal, personal servants, etc. Here they usu- 
ally meet for lunch (according to Pan Dmuszewski's spelling: 
loncz), at 2 o'clock (everybody eats breakfast in his own room, 
when and how he pleases), and for dinner at 7. At evening they 
sit up as long as, and how, they choose. In the evenings I play 
Scotch songs for the old lord, who hums the tune with me, poor 
fellow, and expresses his feelings to me in French, as best he 
can. Although everyone in high society speaks French, especially 
the ladies, the general conversation is mostly in English, and I 
then regret that I don't know the language; but I have neither 
the time nor the desire for it. However, I understand simple 
things; I can't starve or come to grief; but that is not enough. 
This letter has been 10 days or more in getting written; but I 
am determined to finish it today; I am sorry that you have had 
nothing from me for so long. The good de Rozierka writes to me 
that she intends to write you a line without waiting for me. She 
has gone to her friends in the country, to rest after all the emo- 
tions and scares that they have had there. Sol has written to me; 
she is with her husband's parents in Besançon, and is well. In 
Paris she saw her Mother; her Mother has been advised to leave 
Paris. When she arrived at the country house, the peasants re- 
ceived her very badly (she has been mixed up in all the bad 
things) ; she was even obliged to leave Nohant, and is at Tours. 
She has got into deep mud of late, and has brought trouble on 
many. Illicit proclamations, that have kindled civil war, are at- 
tributed to her. Her second newspaper, which also was quite a 
failure, as it was ultra, and merely inflamed the shortsighted, 
was forbidden; but, like the first one, it was already dying for 

1 life in castles. 

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lack of readers. Who would have guessed this a few years ago ! 
Her biography has been printed and sold in the streets; written 
and signed by Augustine's father, who complains that she demor- 
alized his only daughter and made her into Maurice's mistress; 
that she gave her in marriage, against the will of her parents, 
to the first comer, after having promised to marry her to her son. 
He quotes her own letters. In short, a hideous business, that is 
known, today, to all the scum of Paris. It is vile of the father, 
but the thing is true. This is what has come of the kind action 
which she thought she was doing, and which I opposed from the 
first day that girl entered the house. She should have left her 
to her parents, not filled her head with thoughts of her son; who 
will never marry without money (and even then only if he is 
coaxed into it, for he will have enough money himself) . But he 
was pleased to have a pretty cousin in the house. He made his 
mother put her on an equality with Sol. She was dressed the 
same; and better served, because Maurice wished it so. Every 
time the father wanted to take her away, it was refused, because 
Maurice wished it so. Her mother was regarded as insane, be- 
cause she saw things clearly; finally the father began to see. So 
then Mme S. made " une victime " of the girl, who was sup- 
posed to be persecuted by her own parents. Solange saw every- 
thing, and therefore was in the way. Maurice needed that Lam- 
bert for a screen for him before Solange and the servants. 
Maurice needed Borie, so that it could appear, in the town, as if 
Borie were courting Augustine. The mother found her daugh- 
ter inconvenient, because she, unfortunately, saw everything that 
was going on. Hence lies, shame, embarrassment and all the rest. 
— But let us come back to Scotland. I am due in Manchester 
on August 28th, to play at a concert at which the Italians from 
London will sing: Alboni, and so on. They are to pay me 60 
guineas for it, and as that is a sum not to be refused, I have 
accepted, and leave here in a week. 200 and something English 
miles, 8 hours, railway journey. There good acquaintances await 
me, very rich manufacturers, with whom Neukomm lives (that 
best pupil of Hayden's [sic], formerly Kapellmeister to the em- 
peror of Brazil ; you know him by name) . There is also Mrs. Rich 
(a daughter of Mr. Mackintosh, a greatly respected former 

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member of Parliament, orator and writer) , and my great friend; 
also these ladies Ersk[ine] and Stirling. After the concert I re- 
turn to Glasgow, to the sister-in-law of this lord here ; from there 
to lady Murray, then to Stirling, and at the very beginning of 
October they want me to play in Edinburgh. If it will bring in 
something, and I am strong enough, I shall gladly do it, for I 
don't know how to turn round this winter. I have my lodging in 
Paris, as usual, but don't know how to make ends meet. Many 
persons want me to stay in London for the winter, in spite of the 
climate. I want something else, but don't myself know what. 
I will see, in October, according to my health and my purse, for 
an extra hundred guineas in my pocket would do no harm. If 
only London were not so dark, and the people so heavy, and if 
there were no fogs or smells of soot, I would have learned Eng- 
lish by now. But these English are so different from the French, 
to whom I have grown attached as to my own ; they think only in 
terms of pounds; they like art because it is a luxury; kind- 
hearted, but so eccentric that I understand how one can himself 
grow stiff here, or turn into a machine. If I were younger, per- 
haps I would go in for a mechanical life, give concerts all over 
the place and succeed in a not unpleasant career (anything for 
money!) ; but now it is hard to start turning oneself into a ma- 
chine. It is fine weather here today, so nothing dry can enter my 
head. The park has a wonderful light on it — it is morning — , 
and I forget everything; I am with you, I am happy, and I shan't 
think about the winter till it is imperative to do so. Now I em- 
brace you heartily. 

Ch. 

[In a postscript:] How good that Ludwika is in the country! And 
Mummy and Izabelisko ought to go too, in spite of the garden, 
in which I see all kinds of flowers, fruits and fences. I send kisses 
and kisses to Bartek, and to Kalasanty too. 

I won't send Ludwika wishes for her name-day, for there is 
no need to say them. May the Lord God keep and bless you, pre- 
serve and give you health, and let your children grow and be 
your comfort. Write to me to Paris, at the usual address, for your 
letters will be forwarded to me from there, wherever I may 

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be. I will be sure to let you know where I am going to spend the 
winter. 



262. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 

[On letter paper with a large steel engraving at the top, showing 
the Walter Scott memorial with a background of Waverley bridge 
and the principal buildings of Edinburgh. Hoesick.] 

[Calder House] 19 August 1848. 

My dearest Life! 

I am in Calder-House, near Edinburgh (12 English miles), 
staying with lord Torpichen, the 78-year-old brother-in-law of 
the Erskine and Stirling ladies. I have been here for two weeks. 
The climate does not agree with me very well; yesterday and 
today I have been spitting blood ; but, as you know, with me that 
does not mean much. I made the railway journey from London 
to Edinburgh by the Express train, 407 miles in twelve hours, 
and it may have been a little too much for me. Anyhow, it's of 
no consequence. 

I am here to rest after the London season and keep quiet till 
the 28th of this month, when I am due in Manchester. I have 
promised to come and play at a concert which Alboni, etc. are 
giving, and they will give me 60 pounds for it. One can't reject 
that in these days. After the 28th I don't know what I shall do. 
Schwab (a rich manufacturer whom you may have seen at 
Leo's) awaits me in Manchester. They live not right in the 
town, but a few miles outside, and Neukomm lives there with 
them. Mrs. Rich, that kind old English lady that you met as my 
guest, is also coming, with Miss Stirling, so I shall not be alone 
and it will be less dull for me. 

In September I have other invitations to Scotland, where 
September is said to be very beautiful; but not here; near Glas- 
gow, to lady Murray, and Keir, near Sterling [sic], to Mr. 
Stirling (Miss Sterling's cousin). I don't count a lot of other 

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invitations, which I can't accept because I can't drag round 
from place to place. So I shall stay 15 days with one (my lady 
pupil) and another 15 with the other, who is a rich and clever 
bachelor. 

In Edinburgh people want me to play on the 2nd or 3rd 
of October. If it is not yet cold (they say the weather is still 
good then, and it will bring in about a hundred pounds) I 
am ready to go back to Scotland from Manchester; not quite 
8 hours' railway journey. My present valet is excellent, and 
a good fellow, so life is easier for me. What to do with my- 
self next, I am afraid to think. Yet I must return to Paris, to 
make some decision about the apartment. If you should hap- 
pen to see Larac, my house-superintendent, ask him not to be 
anxious about his rent. He has not written to me, but that makes 
no difference. And also say a friendly word to Mme Etienne 
and ask her to air the place, as I shall no doubt be coming 
soon. 

And you, Dear, would have had a line from me long ago, but 
for all this travelling; I have begun letters to you a thousand 
times, and torn or burned them. At the same time I wanted to 
answer my Mother, who has had no letter for three months; but 
my time slips away over the stupidest things. I wanted to com- 
pose a little here ; it's impossible, one always has to do something 
else. 

I read that the Princess is at home. God grant that nothing 
has happened to Witold 1 in Italy. Greet him from me, as from a 
faithful dog, and thank him for his letter to lord Stfuart]. May 
God not forget you. Embrace our friends. Write me a line your- 
self; address at Mr. Broadwood's, 33 Great Pulteney Street, 
Golden Square. I entrust to you a letter to my people, as [if it 
were] my greatest work. Perhaps I shan't so soon write them an- 
other. Mlle Derozières [sic] intended to go to the country, as I 
see from her letter, so I don't write anything to her. Sol is in 
Besançon, and her mother is in Tours, so Viardot told me. The 
things that have happened to her! And where is Augustine? 
May God keep and guard you, that I may find you well. I will 
write to you soon; now I must stop, for it is three English miles 

1 Czartoryski. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

from the castle to the post, and it is time, and tomorrow is 
Sunday. 

Your most attached 

Ch. 

[On another sheet of the same paper, with a steel engraving 
showing a beautiful view: Edinburgh from the Calton Hill.] 

Just as I was sealing this, your letter arrived. My dearest 
Life. Don't ever doubt me; but, as I love you, I could not finish 
a letter to you, begun every day. 

Tell de Larac about the apartment; that I will write, and 
will either send money or come myself. If I knew that I shall 
have anything to eat in Paris during the winter! I will write to 
you from Manchester. May God keep you. Here they take excel- 
lent care of me; I am better off than at home, for such a home 
would be difficult. There is even some kind of red cap, or little 
red hat here, which makes its appearance, as in all the Scottish 
ballads, but I have not seen it yet. And in the corridors I can't 
find out which of the numberless and smoke-blackened ancestors 
it was. I will write to Sol. I don't like that Petersburg. I will 
write to de Rozières too. 

I embrace you most heartily. 

Ch. 



263. 

To the Same. 

Johnston Castel [sic] ; 11 miles from Glasgow. 

4 Septembre 1848]. 

My dearest Life! 

Since I wrote to you, I have been in Manchester. They re- 
ceived me very well ; I had to sit down to the pianoforte 3 times. 
The hall is fine; 1200 persons. I stayed in the country (there is 
too much smoke in the town) ; all the rich people live outside. 
I stayed at the kind Schwabe's ; perhaps you have seen him some 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

time at Leo's. He is one of the first manufacturers, owns the 
biggest chimney in Manchester, which cost 5,000 pounds. He is 
a friend of Cobden, and himself a great free trader. He is a Jew, 
but a protestant, like Leo. His wife is particularly kind. They 
wanted to insist on my staying on, because J. Lind is to come 
there this week, and also will stay with them (they are great 
friends). While I was there, that kind Mrs. Rich was there too, 
whom you saw with Miss Stirling at my place. At the Schwabe's 
I also saw Leo's brother, who also trades in Manchester. This 
Schwabe knows Albrecht from Havre, so I at once sent a mes- 
sage through him to our Albrecht, that he must pay the rent and 
the perceptor 1 in the Square d'Orléans. My life, tell de Larac 
that. Thanks for your good letter and for Nossarz — I should 
not think of the wild cat, for even my cashmere is too heavy for 
me. Embrace him, and say that I will try it at once, if I am able 
to lift it. But really, perhaps I will try it, when the cold begins! 
That was a good letter you forwarded to me from princess 
Marcellina. She asks me whether I am still in London, and to let 
her know at Ostend, poste restante. If I were stronger, I would 
at once go there myself to answer her. The other letter was from 
Chrystian Ostrowski, who wants to know about Mickiewicz's 
drama, which Mme Sand once had in her hands, and which she 
gave to the Revue Indépendante office. There was a big quarrel 
over it. Pernet, one of the successors, died, and François, the 
other one, put the blame on Pernet, because he does not know 
what has become of it. So Ostrowski, queer fellow, asks me, 
when did it happen? And are there any copies? And where is 
Mme Sand now, so that he can apply to her ! ! ! I know that they 
had one search for the drama 2 and could not find it. I shall not 
answer such letters as Ostrowski's and, as I am telling you 
about it, you had better, please, open them and forward only 
what is necessary. 

Here I am staying with the Houstons. She is a sister of my 
Scottish ladies. The castle is very fine and luxurious, kept up 
on a grand scale. I shall stay here for a week, and then go to 
lady Murray, to a still more beautiful district, where I shall 

1 tax collector. 

2 The subject was the Confederation of Bar. (Hoesick.) 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

spend another week. Perhaps I may play in Edinburgh, and 
therefore shall stay in Scotland till October. Please address my 
letters from now: 

To Dr. Lishinski 

Warrington Crescent 
Edinburgh, Scotland. 

Lyszczyński, a Polish homeopathic doctor in Edinburgh, who has 
married well, lives in tranquillity and has become quite Eng- 
lish. He will know where to send my letters. 

This letter was begun yesterday, to be finished today; but 
the weather has changed: it is bad outside, and I am cross and 
depressed, and people bore me with their excessive attentions. 
I can't breathe, I can't work. I feel alone, alone, alone, though 
I am surrounded ,.. . . 1 

Why should I bore you with my jeremiads! You have troubles 
of your own, up to your ears. I ought to cheer you up with 
my letter. If I were in a good humour, I would describe to you 
one Scottish lady, a 13th cousin of Mary Stuart (sic!! Her hus- 
band, who bears a different name from his wife, really told me 
that.) Here it's nothing but cousins of great families and great 
names that no one on the continent has ever heard of. Conversa- 
tion is always entirely genealogical, like the Gospels; who begat 
whom, and he begat, and he begat, and he begat, and so on for 
two pages till you come to Jesus. 

They are arranging a concert for me in Glasgow. I don't know 
what will come of it. They are dear people, kind, and very con- 
siderate to me. There are a whole lot of Ladies, 70- to 80-year-old 
lords, but no young folk; they are all out shooting. One can't 
get out of doors, because it has been raining and blowing for 
several days. I don't know what to do about my visit to Strachur 
(to lady Murray) ; one has to cross Loch Long (one of the most 
beautiful of the lakes) and go round the east coast of Scotland, 
but it is only 4 hours from here. 

Today is the 9th. I send you my old letter of Sept. 4. Forgive 
this scrawl; you know what an effort writing sometimes is for 

1 The next 7 lines are so much crossed out that it is impossible to read through 
the erasures. (Hoesick.) 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

me; the pen burns under my fingers, my hair falls out, and I 
can't write what I want to say, only a thousand futile things. 

I have not written to Sol, nor to Derozierka [Mlle de Ro- 
zières] . I will write when I am less peevish. I embrace you. 

Yours till death — 

Write and may God guard you. Say a friendly word to Mme 
Etienne and tell her I will not forget her. 

I forgot to tell you that since my last letter I have had a queer 
adventure, which luckily ended in nothing, but might have cost 
my life. We were driving in the neighbourhood, above the sea. 
The carriage we were in was a coupé, with two very fine young 
thoroughbred English horses. One horse began to prance, caught 
its leg and started to kick ; the other did the same ; as they bolted 
sur une pente 1 in the park, the reins dragged, the coachman 
fell from his box (he was badly knocked about). The carriage 
was smashed with banging from tree to tree; we were just tum- 
bling over the precipice, when a tree stopped the carriage. One 
horse broke loose and bolted frantically, the other fell under 
the carriage. The windows were broken by branches. Luckily 
nothing happened to me, except a few bruises on my legs from 
the jolting. The footman jumped out cleverly; so only the 
carriage was smashed and the horses injured. The persons who 
saw it from the distance screamed that two persons were killed, 
as they saw one flung out and the other falling on the ground. 
Before the horse moved, I was able to get out of the carriage, and 
am all right; but no one who saw it, and no one of us who were 
there, can understand how we were not smashed to pulp. I was 
reminded of the Berlin ambassador (Emanuel) in the Pyrenees; 
he was dashed about that way. 

I confess to you that I contemplated my last hour with compo- 
sure; but the thought of broken arms and legs disconcerts me. 
To be crippled would be the last straw. 

1 on a slope. 



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CHOPIN S LETTERS 
264. 

To the Same. 

1 October, Keir [1848]. 

Perthshire. Sunday. No post, no railway, no carriage (even for a 

drive) ; not a boat, not even a dog to whistle to. 

My dearest Life. 

Just when I had begun to write to you on another sheet of 
paper, they brought me your letter with the letter from my sister. 
At least they have escaped the cholera so far. But why don't 
you send me a word about yourself? You have an easier pen 
than I, and I write to you every day for the last week, ever since 
I came back from north Scotland (Strachur on Loch fine [sic] ). 
And I know that you have someone ill at Versailles, for de Ro- 
zières wrote me that you came to see her, and hurried away to 
a sick person at Versailles. Was it the grandfather? I don't want 
to think it was the grandchildren, or your kind Rohan neigh- 
bours. In any case I hope it is someone who does not mean 
much to you. Here we hear nothing of the cholera yet, but in 
London it is beginning. In Johnston Castel, together with your 
letter (in which you wrote to me about Sol, that you were in the 
Gymnase 1 with her), came another letter from Edinburgh, with 
the news that Prince and Princess Alexander 2 had arrived, and 
would like to see me. Tired as I was, I took the train and found 
them still in Edinburgh. Princess Marcellina is as kindhearted 
as last year. I came to life a little under their Polish spirit; it 
gave me strength to play in Glasgow, where some dozens of the 
nobility assembled to hear me. The weather was fine, and the 
Prince and Princess also came by train from Edinburgh. Little 
Marcelek, 3 who is growing finely, can sing my compositions, and 
hums the tune when they don't play correctly. That was on 
Wednesday, the 3rd; and afterwards the Prince and Princess 
were so kind as to accept an invitation to dine at Johnston- 
Castel (12 Engl, miles from Glasgow). So we spent the whole 

1 The Gymnase Theatre in Paris. 

2 Czartoryski. 

3 Prince Marcel Czartoryski. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

day together. Lord and Lady Murray, old Torpichen (they had 
come 100 miles), — all of them could not say enough in praise 
of Princess Marcellina. The Prince and Princess return to Glas- 
gow; from there, after seeing Loch Lomond, they were to re- 
turn to London, and then on to the continent. The Princess talked 
to me of you, as a close friend — most affectionately — and 
understands what your fine nature can suffer. You can believe 
how that day revived me. But today I am depressed; there's a 
fog, and though from the window at which I am writing, there is 
the most beautiful view: Sterling Castel [s£c] (that same castle, 
by the town of Sterling, that you have in Robert Bruce, in the 
night, on the rock; do you remember?) and mountains, and the 
lake, and an exquisite park — in short, one of the famous beau- 
tiful views of Scotland — all the same, I can't see a bit of it ; 
only, every now and then, when the fog is pleased to give way 
to a few minutes of sunshine that can't fight it much here. The 
owner of this house is called Sterling, a cousin's cousin of our 
Scottish ladies, and the head of that clan. I met him in London; a 
rich bachelor, who owns a fine collection here: many Murillos 
and other Spanish masters. He has just brought out an expen- 
sive work (you know, they know how to do that) on the Spanish 
school. He has travelled everywhere, and in the East; he has 
brains. All English society, when it travels in Scotland, comes 
to him. He keeps open house, usually 30 persons to dinner. 
At this moment there are several famous beauties here: Mrs. 
Boston left a few days ago; dukes, lords, this year even more 
than usual, because the Queen has been in Scotland, and yes- 
terday unexpectedly drove past near the railway because she 
has to be in London on a certain day, and the fog was so thick 
when she was to sail that she did not return by sea, as she came, 
and as her sailors and the usual procession expected; — just 
prosaically by railway from Aberdeen, in the night. People say 
that must have greatly pleased Prince Albert, who gets seasick, 
whereas the queen, like a real maritime sovereign, does not mind 
the sea at all. Very soon I shall forget my Polish, talking only 
a mixture of French and English — and it is Scottish English I 
am learning, so I shall be taken for old Jaworka, who talked 5 
languages at once. If I don't write you jeremiads, it's not because 

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it would not console me, for you are the only person who knows 
all about me ; but because, if I once start, there will be no end to 
it, and always the same. I am wrong to say the same, because for 
me the future grows always worse. I am weaker, I can't compose 
anything, less from lack of desire than from physical hindrances; 
every week I knock up against a new tree-branch. And what can 
I do? Still, it saves a few pennies, towards the winter. I have 
many invitations, and can't accept them if I wanted to: for in- 
stance, to the Duchess of Argyl [sic] or lady Belhaven, because 
it is already too late for my health. The whole morning, till 2 
o'clock, I am fit for nothing now; and then, when I dress, every- 
thing strains me, and I gasp that way till dinner time. After- 
wards one has to sit two hours at table with the men, look at 
them talking and listen to them drinking. I am bored to death ( I 
am thinking of one thing and they of another, in spite of all their 
courtesy and French remarks at table). Then I go to the draw- 
ing-room, where it takes all my efforts to be a little animated — 
because then they usually want to hear me — ; then my good 
Daniel carries me up to my bedroom (as you know that is usu- 
ally upstairs here), undresses me, gets me to bed, leaves the 
light; and I am free to breathe and dream till it is time to 
begin all over again. And when I get a little bit used to it, then 
it is time to go somewhere else; for my Scottish ladies give me 
no peace; either they come to fetch me, or take me the round 
of their families {nota bene, they make their folk invite them 
constantly). They are stifling me out of courtesy, and out of the 
same courtesy I don't refuse them. 



265. 

To the Same. 

[Edinburgh, 3 October 1848.] 

I began my letter in Keir, and am finishing it only in Edin- 
burgh], on the 3rd of October. The weather is fine today, even 
warm, and I am better. Tomorrow evening I have to play, but 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

have not yet seen the hall or arranged the programme. Jenny 
Lind and Mrs. Grote, whom I met at the station, have been here 
and have gone on to Glasgow for a performance. Grisi, Mario, 
Alboni and all have been here. Jenny Lind goes from here to 
Dublin. Nothing has been as successful here this year as last 
year; it is no longer a novelty. Roger was the tenor in Sonnam- 
bula; but — between ourselves — he is, as he always was, a 
wigmaker's apprentice. 

It's time to stop. 

I embrace you from my heart — 

Yours till death 

Ch. 

Write to me. If you see Delacroix, embrace him. I am also 
sending a letter to de Rozières. Go on addressing to me at 
Lysczynski's. 



266. 

To Adolf Gutmann in Heidelberg. 

Colder House, 16 Oct[ober] 1848 (12 miles from Edinburgh) . 

Dear Friend, 

What are you doing? How are your folk getting on? What 
news of your country, and of your art? You are unjust to be 
annoyed with me, since you know how bad I am at corre- 
spondence. I have often thought of you, and when I lately read 
of the disturbances at Heidelberg, I began a lot of letters to 
you, and ended by burning them all. This note will probably 
reach you, and will find you at your good Mother's side. Ever 
since you last wrote to me, I have been in Scotland, Walter 
Scott's beautiful country, among all the memories and remind- 
ers of Mary Stuart, of the Charleses, etc. I visit one lord after 
another. Everywhere I meet, together with the heartiest goodwill 
and boundless hospitality, superb pianofortes, magnificent paint- 
ings, famous collections of books; there are also hunting, dogs, 
dinners without end, cellars, for which I have less use. It is diffi- 
cult to conceive of the refinement of luxury and comfort that one 

388 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

meets in English castles. As the Queen has been spending sev- 
eral weeks in Scotland, all England has followed after her, partly 
because the court etiquette and usage demand it, partly because 
it is not possible to settle down in the country at this moment, 
while there is so much disturbance and rioting. Everything here 
is doubly brilliant, except the sun, which is the same now as al- 
ways; the winter is already approaching, and what will happen 
to me I don't yet know. I am writing at lord Torpichen's. In this 
castle, just underneath the room in which I write, J. Knox, the 
Scottish reformer, administered the first communion. Every- 
thing here speaks to the imagination: the park with secular trees, 
the precipices, the ruins of ancient keeps, endless corridors with 
countless likenesses of ancestors; they even speak of a certain 
red-capped ghost, which walks about the corridors at midnight. 
And I walk about in them with my doubts. 

The cholera approaches; London is full of fogs and spleen, 
and in Paris there's no president, no president. But wherever I 
may betake my cough and my suffocation, my affection for you 
will remain the same. My respects to your worthy Mother, and 
heartiest wishes for happiness to all of you. Write a few words 
to the above address. 

With all my heart yours 

Chopin 

I have played in Edinburgh; all the distinguished folk of the 
region assembled. They say it went off well. There was a little 
success and a little money. This year everyone has been in Scot- 
land: Lind, Grisi, Alboni, Mario, Salvi. 



267. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
London, 17-18 Oct[ober 1848]. 

My Life! 

I have been ill the last 18 days; ever since I reached London. 
I have not left the house at all, I have had such a cold and such 

389 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

headaches, short breath and all my bad symptoms. The doctor 
visits me every day (Dr. Mallan, a homeopath, well known here, 
and an acquaintance of my Scottish ladies ; Lady Gainsborough is 
his sister-in-law. He stiffened me up so that I could play yester- 
day at that Polish concert and ball, which was very splendid) ; 
but though I left immediately after playing, I could not sleep 
all night. My head is very painful, apart from cough and suffo- 
cation. Up to now the thick fogs have not begun, but already, in 
spite of the cold, I am obliged to have the windows opened in the 
morning in order to breathe a little air. I am at 4 St. James's 
Place, where I have been laid up for 2^ weeks. I see the kind 
Szulcz[ewski], Broadwood, Mrs. Erskine (who followed me here 
with Miss Stirl[ing], as I wrote to you from Edinburgh), and 
especially Prince and Princess Alexander. Princess Marcellina 
also is so kind that she calls almost every day, as if at a hospital. 
Go on addressing to me at Szulczewski's. So now I can't get back 
to Paris, but I am considering how to manage it, so as to be 
there. I can't stay here, in this lodging, though it is all right for 
any ordinary, healthy bachelor or member of Parliament, and 
though it is in a fine situation, and not dear: 4 2 guineas a week 
with heating, linen, etc., and close to lord Stuart. He has just 
left me; the good fellow called to know how I was after playing 
last night. Probably I shall move to another lodging near here, 
with larger rooms, in which I can breathe better. En tout cas. 1 
Find out, please, whether there is anything on the boulevards, 
beginning from the Rue de la Paix, or Rue Royale; — some- 
where on the first floor facing south towards the Madeleine, or in 
the Rue des Mathurins. Only not Godot, nor any dismal cramped 
place; and a little room for the valet. If it were in the Square, 
at No. 9 (where the good Mme Etienne is; for instance Frank's 
apartment, which was to let, above mine). The one I have now 
is impossible to [keep] for the winter; I know that already, from 
experience. If, at least, there can be a little room for the valet on 
the same floor. I would keep Mme Etienne just the same. But I 
should not like to give up my present man ; if I wanted, or found 
it possible to return to England, he already knows his way about. 
Why, why am I bothering you with all this : — I don't know, for 

1 Any how. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

I don't care about anything. But I suppose I have to think of my 
health, so help me out about it, and write me your view of the 
matter. I have never cursed anyone; but now my life is so un- 
bearable that it seems to me it would give me relief if I could 
curse Lucrezia — But no doubt she also suffers, — suffers all 
the more because she will doubtless grow old in anger. I am end- 
lessly sorry for Sol. The world is in a godless way now. Arago 
wearing an eagle ! Representing France ! ! ! Louis Blanc is not re- 
spected here at all. Causidier has been turned out by national 
guards from the table d'hôte of the hotel la Sablonnière (Leices- 
ter Square), when he approached it; they told him: Vous n'êtes 
pas Français, and drove him out with their fists. The landlord of 
the hotel was obliged to escort him across the Square, to prevent 
his getting knocked about, for the London rabble had begun to 
clench their fists. Thank Mlle de Rozières, but I won't write, I 
am too weak, and I haven't the strength to search; there's a letter 
from my sister (but I'm not sure, I think I sent it on long ago). 
If I could have a room somewhere upstairs for the valet, let me 
know, because it may be necessary to begin lighting fires at once. 
— But what am I going back for! Why should God kill me 
this way, not at once, but little by little and through the fever 
of indecision. Apart from all else, my kind Scottish ladies 
are boring me again. Mrs. Erskine, who is a very religious 
protestant, good soul, would perhaps like to make a protestant 
of me; she brings me the bible, talks about the soul, quotes 
the psalms to me; she is religious, poor thing, but she is 
greatly concerned about my soul. She is always telling me 
that the other world is better than this one; and I know all 
that by heart, and answer with quotations from Scripture, and 
explain that I understand and know about it. I embrace you 
heartily. Write, and forgive my being cross and impatient; 
I'm ill. 

Yours till death 

Ch. 

If I were well, with 2 lessons a day I should have enough to live 
comfortably here; but I'm weak; in 3 months, or 4 at outside, 
I shall eat up what I have. 

391 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



If you should find any lodging, don't engage it without writing, 
or give notice at the old one — 



268. 

[In French] 

To Mlle de Rozières. 

Keir, 20 Oct[ober] 1848. Perthshire. 

I thank you very much for your good letters, and am very 
sorry not to be able to give you as much pleasure with mine. 
You know my infirmity, that I can't put 2 words together without 
real suffering; so I count on your memory and believe myself 
pardoned. I have just had a word from Ludwika, who speaks 
tenderly of you. She writes to me that they are well in health; 
the cholera has spared them. The other parts of the letter are 
less consolatory. Did I not send to you from London a letter 
from Ludwika for you? I had one, I am sure, and (unless it has 
remained with my papers well locked up in London) it seems to 
me that I forwarded it to you. My Italian that was, did he, on 
leaving [? French incorrect], keep back out of curiosity the let- 
ter that I gave him to post? Anyhow, it will clear itself up. In any 
case, don't accuse Ludwika, because I know that I still have a 
word for you in London. I have had only 2 letters in all from 
Poland: one from Warsaw, and then this last one, written in the 
country, not far from Thorn, where Ludwika spent the summer 
with the children. What you tell me about Sol troubles me. I am 
really grieved about Luce. If Sol should ever go to Russia, with 
whom could she talk of France? And to whom could she say a 
word en berrichon? 1 That does not sound important. Well then, it 
is the greatest consolation in a strange land, to have someone who 
takes you back into your own country every time you look at 
them, whether you talk to them or they to you. And your travel- 
ling; why are you missing it? Unless perhaps you are not yet 
strong enough for your winter: that winter which I don't know 

1 In the dialect of Berry. 

392 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

where to spend. I want to do the best, and I am sure I shall do the 
worst. But that is my fate. No one can escape his destiny. I suffo- 
cate better than I did a month ago in this beautiful land of Wal- 
ter Scott. The Queen left Aberdeenshire yesterday. This year all 
England came to Scotland, as much to pay court to her Majesty as 
because there is no place on the continent that is left in peace. 
The place where I am staying at this moment is called Keir, in 
Perthshire, near Stirling. Tomorrow I go to Edinburgh, where I 
shall stay a few days; perhaps I may even be heard there. But 
don't suppose that this will give — apart from the occupation — 
anything except impatience and exhaustion; still, I find many 
persons here who appear to care for music ; they torment me to 
play, and, out of politeness, I play, always with a fresh regret, 
swearing that no one will catch me again — If the weather were 
fine I would stay through October here, for I have invitations 
which I have not been able to answer, and life in the castles of the 
great here is really very curious. It is a thing unknown on the con- 
tinent. If the weather is fine, I shall go to stay with the Duchess of 
Argyl [sic] at Inverary on Lake Line [sic], and also at Lady 
Belhaven's, one of the greatest houses in this country. She is 
here now, one of about thirty persons; some very handsome, 
some very witty, some very original, some very deaf; there is 
even an illustrious name (Sir Walpool) [sic], blind. Dresses, 
diamonds, pimples on the nose ; the most beautiful hair, the most 
marvellous get-ups, the " beauty of the devil " * and the devil 
without beauty. The last category is the least rare everywhere. 
All this crowd is going to Edinburgh today for the Caledonian 
Raut [sic]. There will be races, amusements, balls, etc., all 
the week. It is the local fashionables, the sportsmen's club, which 
gives annual festivals. All the nobility of the land attends. Now 
I hope that is gossip enough. But indeed I don't know when I 
shall write you any more of it. I have to write to my folk now, 
and to Sol, to whom I have written 50 scraps. I scratch out more 
letters than I write, so it is not laziness. I hope to see you soon 
(here comes a ray of sunshine and makes me say that; it has 
only to hide and I shall be convinced of the contrary). Now, 
give me a good handshake, and write to me at the same address 

1 beauté du diable. 

393 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

in Edinburgh; wherever I may be, the letter will find me. And 
Franchomme! I have not answered him, but it is impossible to 
write all I wish to write to my friends. All this is very stupid ; I 
must finish, for if I tore up my letter the scratching out would 
continue. 

Good day, and a thousand sincere good wishes. 

Always yours faithfully, 

Ch. 

I will write to Grzym. 



269. 

[A fragment] 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
[Hamilton Palace 21 Oct[ober 1848]. 

. . . Art, here, means painting, sculpture and architecture. Mu- 
sic is not art and is not called art; and if you say an artist, an 
Englishman understands that as meaning a painter, architect or 
sculptor. Music is a profession, not an art, and no one speaks 
or writes of any musician as an artist, for in their language and 
customs it is something else than art; it is a profession. Ask any 
Englishman, and he will tell you so ; and Neukomm assured me 
of it too. No doubt it is the fault of the musicians; but try to 
correct such things ! These queer folk play for the sake of beauty, 

but to teach them decent things is a joke. Lady , one of the 

first great ladies here, in whose castle I spent a few days, is re- 
garded here as a great musician. One day, after my piano, and 
after various songs by other Scottish ladies, they brought a kind 
of accordion, and she began with the utmost gravity to play on 
it the most atrocious tunes. What would you have? Every crea- 
ture here seems to me to have a screw loose. Another lady, show- 
ing me her album, said to me : — " La reine a regardé dedans et 
j'ai été à côté d'elle." 1 A third that she is — " la 13me cousine 

1 The queen looked in it, and I was beside her. 

394 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

de Marie Stuart." l Another sang, standing up for the sake of 
originality, and accompanying herself on the piano, a French- 
English romance: — "j'aie aiiemaiie {fai aimé), żej ajmej"!!! 2 
The Princess of Parma told me that one lady whistled for her 
with a guitar accompaniment. Those who know my composi- 
tions ask me: — " Jouez-moi votre second Soupir — faime 
beaucoup vos cloches'" 3 And every observation ends with: — 
" leik [sic] water" meaning that it flows like water. I have not 
yet played to any Englishwoman without her saying to me: — 
Leik water!!! They all look at their hands, and play the wrong 
notes with much feeling. Eccentric folk, God help them. 
[Here a caricature] 

This is a certain lord in a collar and gaiters, stuttering. 
[Here another caricature] 

This one is a duke in high boots with spurs, deerskin breeches 
and a sort of dressing-gown over them. 



270. 

To the Same. 

Edinburgh, 30 October [1848]. 

My dearest Life! 

Have you forgotten me, that you read into my letters — in 
which I wrote to you that I am progressively weaker, duller, 
without any hope, without a home : — to read in this, that I am 
going to get married? On the day on which I received your dear 
and good letter, I wrote a sort of instructions for the disposal of 
my bits of things if I should peg out here. 

I have dragged about Scotland, but now it's too cold, and to- 
morrow I return to London, so lord Stuart writes to me, to play 
on the 16th at a concert which is to be given for the Poles, be- 
fore the opening of the ball. On the way back from Hamilton 

1 Mary Stuart's 13th cousin. 

2 Polish spelling of English pronunciation of: "J'ai aimé": I have loved. 

3 Play me your second Sigh — I love your bells. 

395 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

Pallace [sic] (60 miles from here) , where I stayed a few days at 
the duke of Hamilton's, I took a chill, and for five days have not 
been out. I am staying with Dr. Lyszcziński, who is treating me 
homeopathically, and I don't want to pay any more visits, for 
the cholera is just round the corner; and then, if I collapse, 
it will be for the whole winter. If the weather should im- 
prove, I should like to go back to Hamilton Pallace, and from 
there to the island of Ayran [sic] (which belongs entirely to 
them), to the princess of Baden, who has married their son, 
the Marquis of Duglas [sic] ; but nothing will come of it. While 
I was there, they had, besides the great aristocrats of their own 
family and country, the duke and duchess of Parma ; he is prince 
Luca; she is a sister of the duke of Bordeaux (a very gay young 
couple). They invited me to stay with them, at Kingston, when 
I return to London; for now they will live in England, since they 
were driven out of Italy. That is all right, but I am not fit for it 
now; and if I made haste to leave Hamilton, it was just because 
I can't sit at table from 8 till 10| without pains such as Gutmann 
had (do you remember?) ; and in the morning, though I break- 
fasted in my room and came down late, and was carried on the 
stairs, all the same, it was too much for me. From Wishaw, from 
lady Belhaven's, where I stayed before going to Hamilton, I 
wrote to you before your letter arrived ; but it was such a black, 
sulky letter that I did not send it to you. 

After November 16th, if there is any improvement in your 
affairs, or — 

[Remainder missing] 



271. 

[A fragment.] 

To the Same. 

[London, November 1848.] 

. . . the London fogs are driving me out, so I am returning to 
Paris, if it is not too late for the journey. 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

My Scotswomen are kind; I have not seen them for two or 
three weeks, but they are coming today. They want me to stay, 
and go on dragging round the Scottish palaces, here and there 
and everywhere, as I am invited. They are kind, but so boring 
that the Lord preserve them! — Every day I get letters, and an- 
swer none of them ; and wherever I go, they come after me if they 
can. Perhaps that has given someone the notion that I am getting 
married ; but there really has to be some kind of physical attrait, 1 
and the unmarried one 2 is too much like me. How could you kiss 
yourself — 

Friendship is all very well, but gives no right to anything 
further. I have made that clear — 

Even if I could fall in love with someone, as I should be glad 
to do, still I would not marry, for we should have nothing to eat 
and nowhere to live. And a rich woman expects a rich man, or 
if a poor man, at least not a sickly one, but one who is young 
and handsome. It's bad enough to go to pieces alone, but two 
together, that is the greatest misfortune. I may peg out in a hos- 
pital, but I won't leave a starving wife behind me. 

Anyhow, I don't need to write you all this, for you know how 
I think — [crossed out] . So I don't think at all of a wife, but 
of home, of my Mother, my Sisters. May God keep them in His 
good thoughts. Meanwhile, what has become of my art? And my 
heart, where have I wasted it? [crossed out.] I scarcely remem- 
ber any more, how they sing at home. That world slips away 
from me somehow; I forget, I have no more strength [crossed 
out] ; if I rise a little, I fall again, lower than ever. 

I am not complaining to you, but since you have asked, I ex- 
plain to you that I am nearer to a coffin than to a marriage bed. 
My mind is fairly calm [crossed out] . 

Write me a line. Address: Szulczewski, Esq., 10 Duke Street, 
St. James's. Stuart's Polish literary society is there. I am not 
sending the fourth letter I have written to you, only a fragment 
of another, written in an impatient mood, so that you may know 
how cross I am sometimes. 

Yours till death 

Ch. 

1 attraction. 

2 Miss Jane Stirling. 

397 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

272. 

To Dr. Lyszczyński in Edinburgh. 
London, 3 November 1848. 

Yesterday I received your kind letter, with a letter from Hei- 
delberg. Here I am as incapable as I was with you, and also have 
the same affection for you as I had. My compliments to your 
Wife and your Neighbours. God bless you ! I embrace you heart- 
ily. I have seen the Princess; they asked after you most affec- 
tionately. 

At present I am staying at James Place, No. 4. If anything 
should come for me (by post), kindly send it to that address. 
Would you please forward the enclosed letter to Miss Stirling, 
who doubtless is still at Barnton. 



273. 

[In French] 

To Mlle de Rozières. 

London, Monday, 19 Nov[ember 1848]. 

It is possible that I may be well enough to be able to travel 
this week and arrive in Paris Thursday, Friday or Saturday 
(travelling by express), for the English climate at this time of 
year is quite impossible for me, even according to the doctor, 
who is not your M. Curie. Since Nov. 1st I have been in my room, 
in my dressing-gown, and have been out only on the 16th, to play 
for my compatriots! Please be so kind as to give a look to No. 9, 
in case I arrive one of those days. Thanks in advance. 

Ch. 

I have written to Grzym.; but as he may be travelling, and 
may receive my letter too late, I beg you to buy a cord of wood 

398 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

from Mme Etienne, and have hot fires made in my rooms, also 
have furniture and curtains well dusted, especially the bed cur- 
tains, for I think I shall have to handle them often. Also have 
the little alcoves of the bedroom well swept out at the corners. 
I am in rather a hurry to breathe better, to be able to understand 
people, and to see the faces of a few friends again. 

Ch. 



274. 

[In French] 

To Solange Clésinger. 

London, Wednesday, 22 [November 1848]. 

You accuse me very unjustly; there has not been a day when 
I have not tried to write to you. Even before the letter which I 
have just received, I thought of inquiring whether your husband 
could not find some work here; and I have taken particulars 
from persons who know London and its art, and this is what they 
tell me. Society (except employees, magistrates and lawyers) 
does not remain in town during the winter. The class which can 
be useful to your husband is here only in March and April; so 
there is nothing to do before the beginning of next season; 
though that is risky, it is not impossible, with certain good intro- 
ductions ; and in the course of one month's visit here, which need 
not be very expensive, your husband could see what to count 
on. I know several influential persons, who have promised me 
to be genuinely useful, but who could do nothing just now. 

As for what is happening to you in Paris, it is possible that 
your Mother is doing her best for you, but that she has no money; 
that she will return to you the small objects bought appar- 
ently in view of this action; and that, once the house is sold, she 
will arrange your affairs on a fresh basis. She is, after all, your 
mother, and she knows her duty towards you. She may forget 
herself, but she cannot forget you. 

Tomorrow I go to Paris, scarcely dragging myself, and weaker 

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CHOPIN S LETTERS 

than you have ever seen me. The doctors are driving me away 
from here. I am swollen up with neuralgia, can neither breathe 
nor sleep, and have not left my room since November 1st (except 
the 16th, to play for an hour in the evening at the concert for 
the Poles). After that I relapsed; I cannot possibly breathe here; 
it is an inconceivable climate for persons like me, but only dur- 
ing these few winter months. They light up at 2 o'clock. I have 
promised to come back here next season!!! Sir J. Clark, the 
queen's doctor, came once to see me and to give me his benedic- 
tion. So I shall groan in the Place d'Orléans till things get better. 
I advise you seriously to be very glad, having the good air of 
Guillery for your lungs, and your husband with you. He will 
come to you for the remainder of the good weather. As for Rus- 
sia, the very influential persons who have given me letters for 
your husband for St. Petersburg, told me that it is very diffi- 
cult for a Frenchman to penetrate there now without great pro- 
tection. So don't be in a hurry to accuse Mme Obresk[off], and 
if England can provide him with work, I think he would make 
more money there and find it more comfortable. He will not 
have to fight against the climate, for he has lungs ; and if he set- 
tles in London, he can prepare work in winter for the season. A 
little patience. It is possible that the permit for St. Petersburg 
will arrive. London now is nothing for the arts. It is the dead 
season. Everyone who is free lives outside, and what remains 
has little initiative for the success of a talent. For your hus- 
band's statue, fine as it may be, will need to be much praised 
to be considered fine at first sight. Afterwards people will say 
it is his, and everyone will admire it. Above all it is necessary 
that the royal Dukes and peers of England should think it good, 
and they are all in their castles, out of London. 

Forgive the confusion of this letter; I am suffering much to- 
day. Don't ever misjudge my old and tried friendship. 

Ch. 



400 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

275. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 

[London] Tuesday [November 1 1848]. 

My Life! 

Today I have been in bed nearly all day, but on Thursday 
at this hour I leave this beastly London. I shall spend the night 
of Thursday to Friday at Boulogne, and on Friday, during the 
day, shall arrive at the Place d'Orléans and go to bed. Besides 
the usual things, I have neuralgia, and am all swollen up. Please 
ask that the sheets and pillows may be dry. Have some pine- 
cones got in. Ask Mme Etienne to spare nothing, so that I may 
get warm on arriving. I have written to Derozierka. Have the 
carpets and curtains in place. I will at once pay the upholsterer, 
Perrichet; even tell Pleyel to send me some kind of piano by 
Thursday evening, and have it covered over. Have a bunch of 
violets bought on Friday, so that the sitting-room may smell 
sweet. I want to meet with a little poetry on my return, — pass- 
ing through the sitting-room to the bedroom, where I shall doubt- 
less be laid up for long. So, Friday, in the middle of the day, I 
reach Paris. One more day here, and I should, not die, but 
go mad. My Scottish ladies are so boring, — may the hand of 
the Lord preserve them ! They have fastened on to me, — there's 
no getting away! It's only Princess Marcellina, and her family, 
and the good Szulczewski, that keep me alive. If only there were 
a little room for the valet, even on another staircase; — but if 
not, never mind. I embrace you. Tell them to make fires, warm 
and dust the rooms, — perhaps I shall still come to myself. 
Yours till death. 

Ch. 

1 Princess Marcellina Czartoryska marked this letter as dating from March; 
an obvious mistake. 



401 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
276. 

[In French] 

To Solange Clésinger. 

Paris, Tuesday, 30 January [18]49. 

I have been too ill all these last days to write to you and tell 
you that I have seen your husband. He came to see me Friday, 
and I found him well and preparing to work on a statue of 
Truth. Yesterday he wrote me a little line to tell me that he was 
already starting work. He gave me good news of you; told me 
that you have all the courage possible in your new state of fig- 
ure. Here we have March weather, and I have to lie down ten 
times a day. Molin knew the secret of how to liven me up. Since 
then I have seen M. Louis, Dr. Roth, during two months; and 
now M. Simon, a great reputation among the homeopaths; but 
they just sound me and give no relief. They all agree about cli- 
mate, peaceful life, rest. Rest, — I shall get it one day without 
them. The calm of Paris has not been disturbed for one moment 
during these last days, — though some disorder was expected, 
— thanks to the gardes mobiles, for whom regulations have been 
made, or on account of the ministerial project for the suppres- 
sion of the clubs. Yesterday, Monday, there were soldiers and 
cannon everywhere, and this firm attitude has greatly impressed 
those who would have liked to cause disorder. Even I am writ- 
ing about politics to you, instead of telling you more amusing 
things. But I am becoming stupider than ever, and I attribute 
it to the cacao which I take every morning instead of my 
coffee. Don't ever take cacao, and prevent your friends from 
taking it, especially if you are in correspondence with them. 
I will try to make my next letter very intelligent, after the 
sulphate of something which M. Simon will give me to sniff. 
Meanwhile, read this scribble, as it gives you news of the 
health and courage of your husband. Mme Obreskoff came 
to see me yesterday but I had B — on Stockhausen, Legouvé, 
and others, before whom I did not wish to speak of Peters- 
burg — you know how kind she is, and how talkative. If you 

402 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

write me a line about your health, it will not be waste of 
time. 

Happiness, health, health — 

Ch. 



277. 

To the Same. 

Paris, Thursday, 5 Apr[il 1849], 

I have seen Mme Obreskoff, who has no message to send you. 
I think the political horizon is clouding over more and more on 
that side, and what was difficult a month ago will be more so 
now. I learn from Mlle de Rozières that you are well. God keep 
you in this good health. There, now I'm at the end of my Latin. 1 
I have got to my 4th doctor. They charge me 10 fr. a visit, come 
sometimes twice a day, and all that gives me very little help. 

Saturday. 

Your husband has just come to see me, before I had time to 
finish my letter. He looks well, and greatly pleased me by giving 
me good news of your health. One can't have everything in this 
world; be content with the greatest of joys: health. Your hus- 
band expects to go to London, and I think he is right. It is not 
impossible that he may have a great success there. 

I shall not fail to be of as much use as I can in the matter of 
information and letters for London. Have no doubts. 



278. 

To the Same. 

[Paris] Friday, 13 April [1849]. 

I send you all this scribble to let you see that it is not laziness, 
but weakness, or something of the sort, which keeps me from 

1 at the end of my resources. 

403 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

writing to you. Your husband is well, he came to see me again 
yesterday, and told me that he is to be introduced to the presi- 
dent on Monday; he has courage, plenty of it; he has also been 
to see Delacroix (who has spoken to me of a bust which some- 
one wanted your husband to make) . Luck is never the same in 
this world, as M. de la Palisse would say; I have no conversa- 
tion left any more, except axioms of this kind, so forgive me if 
I tell them to you. Thus, for inst., I hope that the spring sunshine 
will be my best doctor. One has to add spring, because at the 
opera, in the Prophet, they are preparing a sun which is said 
to be more marvellous than any in the tropics. It only rises, and 
does not last long, but it is so powerful that it puts everything in 
the shade except the music. It is made of sheaves of electric light. 
I was too ill to attend the rehearsal the day before yesterday, but 
am counting on the first performance, which is to be next Mon- 
day. There is a great deal of talk about a skating-match ( skaters 
on rollers) ; wonders are related about a fire, about the fine 
scene-painting, and about Mme Viardot, who, in the mother's 
part, is to make everybody weep. Now I'm beginning to scratch 
out again. Please give me news of you when you can. Profit by 
your climate. Paris is frightful. 36 kinds of weather, plenty of 
mud, draughts in the room. Nothing goes ; for the moment, every- 
thing is disgusting. 

Your affectionate 

Ch. 



279. 

To the Same. 
[Paris, May 1849.] 

An unhappy friend blesses you and blesses your child. We 
must hope that the future [holds] for you the promise of other 
favours and consolations. Youth is an obligation; that is to say, 
you have an absolute duty to be happy and to preserve a good 
memory of yourself for one who loves you. 

Ch. 

404 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 



280. 



To Wojciech Grzymała. 
Monday, 18 [June 1849.] 

How are you? I suppose the country is at least physically 
benefiting you. I do not go out, except sometimes to the Bois de 
Boulogne. I am stronger, for I have been eating and have 
dropped the medicaments; but I gasp and cough just the same, 
only I bear it better. I have not yet begun to play, I can't com- 
pose, — I don't know what hay I shall be eating x before long. 
Everyone is leaving; some from fear of cholera, some from fear 
of revolution. Mlle de Rozières was also frightened away to 
Versailles, but has come back. The Englishwomen are at St. 
Germain, Obreskoff at St. Germain. Pot[ocki] is at Versailles; 
I have not seen him for a long time. I have even been without a 
nurse for over a week. Princess Czar[toryska] came to see me; 
and, not wishing me to be alone at night, is sending me Pani 
Matuszewska, who was Princess Roza's nursemaid. The Prince 
also called and asked after you. I don't know whether you told 
anyone to say that you were at the waters ; but, not knowing that, 
I told him you had gone to the country, and he said he had been 
told you were taking the waters. Kalkbrenner is dead. De la 
Roche's elder son has died in Versailles. Franchomme's very 
good maidservant has died. There have been no end of deaths 
in the Cours d'Orléans, only little Etienne was dangerously ill. 
The Scottish ladies have just come. Among other news they told 
me Noalek 2 is better, and I replied that King Ch. Albert has 
died in Lisbon. They stifle me with boredom. I shall leave my 
lodging at the end of the month and return to the Square, because 
it is not possible otherwise. Cochet has come back. I can't find out 
from my Dr. Frenkel, whether to go to some watering-place, or 
to go south. He has again withdrawn his tisane, 3 and given me 
another medicament, and again, I don't want it. When I ask 
him about hygiene, he answers that a regular régime is not 

1 A Polish idiom. 

2 The Duke of Noailles: an affectionate Polish diminutive. 

3 infusion. 

405 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

necessary for me. In short, an empty pate. Joking apart, he may 
be a very good consultant; as good as, for instance, Koreff — but 
he has no sequence in his mind as Koreff has. Miss Lind came, 
she sang one evening at my place; Pani Pot[ocka] was there, 
Beauv[eau], Rotsch[ild]; she has already left for Sweden by 
way of Hamb[urg]. Mme Catalani, whom I met here on the eve 
of her departure, has died of cholera. I have seen Cichowski 
only once, as I wrote to you — It is a long way to town; only 
those who love me very much, as, for inst., Franch[omme], or 
those who have close friends near by, as, for inst., the Prince and 
Princess, occasionally call. Today Pleyel came too ; — he's a 
good fellow! Gutman, for all his good intentions, has not been 
seen for 10 days; I began to fear he must be ill, — but he writes 
that he is well. The disease is already abating in the city. Dela- 
croix has been in the country for a week. Let me have a line about 
yourself. I embrace you heartily. 

Your 

Ch. 
Monday, 18 [June]. 



281. 

To the Same. 

[Chaillot] Friday, 22 June [1849]. 

How are you? Write me a line. I wrote to you a few days ago 
through Ludw[ika?]. Probably they have not yet sent on the let- 
ter to you. Today I saw Cichowski and Princess Sapieha. She 
did not ask after you. At the door, Cichowski told me that he 
knows about your misfortunes (of which I had not spoken to 
him). He had nothing to say to me about you, nor I to him. But 
from Zaleski I learn that Pani Plichcina is going to Warsaw in 
10 days' time; perhaps she could be useful to you in some way. 
Find out about it. Cochet, who came today with Lumirski [Lu- 
bomirski?], could tell me nothing about your son, as he has not 
been in Warsaw. So (of course!!!) he has not seen him. Every- 

406 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

one is leaving here. I have not seen either Pani Potocka or Prin- 
cess Beauveau for 10 days. They are in Versailles. I have had 
two haemorrhages during this last night. But I have done nothing 
about it; I just spit blood, but already much less. That was what 
brought Princess Sap[ieha] to me, for the Polish woman who 
looks after me at night told her about it. My Jew, Frenkel, has 
not come for a week ; at the end he even left off putting papers 
into the urine, only talked to me about some Englishman whom 
he saved from cholera by means of some medicine which the 
reactionary French government (Fauchet) will not have him 
asked to introduce. So I am left to myself, and perhaps may crawl 
out all the quicker. I shall doubtless return to the Square next 
month. 

Virg [?] came to tell me that she is going with her Deputy 
to Brit [tany]. She asked for news of you; I had nothing to say. 
Don't come back if you can get through the hot weather there 
in tolerable health and comfort. No doubt your Adone and 
Cich[owski] will arrange your affairs all right for you, so that 
when you come back you will be less worried. 

I must stop ; it's misery for me to write, even to you. So many 
things don't get over the pen. 

Your old one. 

Mme Obreskow [sic], who came here yesterday from St. 
Germain, asked about the General, and is angry that he is re- 
maining so long in that country place and so far away. I told 
her that you had returned and had been obliged to go again. 



282. 

To Ludwika Jédrzejewicz. 
[Paris] Monday, 25 June 1849. 

My Life. 

If you can, do come [plural] . I am ill, and no doctor will help 
me as much as some of you. If you are short of money, borrow 

407 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

some; if I get better, I can easily earn and repay the lender; 
but just now I am stripped too bare to send you any. My lodging 
here in Chaillot is fairly big, and could accommodate you, with 
2 children. Little Ludka would profit by it in every way. Kala- 
santy the father could run about all day — the exhibition of prod- 
uce is close by — in short, he would have more free time for 
himself than he had before, for I am weaker and shall sit at 
home with Ludwika. 

My friends and well-wishers think the best medicine for me 
will be Ludwika's presence here, as Ludwika will doubtless see 
from Mme Ob[reskoff's] letter. So try for a passport. I heard 
today from two persons, one from the north, the other from the 
south, that people who don't know Ludwika have said that it 
would be good not only for me, but for my sister too. So, mother 
Ludwika and daughter Ludwika, bring your thimbles and knit- 
ting-needles, and I will give you handkerchiefs to mark and 
stockings to knit, and you can spend two or three months in 
the fresh air with your old brother and uncle. The journey is 
easier now. You don't need much luggage. Here we will manage 
as cheaply as we can. Even if it is sometimes far for Kalasanty 
from the Champs d'Elysées to the city, he can stay in my lodging 
in the Square d'Orléans. The omnibuses go from the square, 
right to this very door. I don't myself know why I want Ludwika 
so much, but it's as if it would give me hope. I guarantee that it 
will be good for her too. I hope the family council will send 
her to me; who knows whether I won't return with her, if I re- 
cover. We should then all embrace each other, as I wrote to you, 
only still with teeth in our heads and no wigs. Wives ought al- 
ways to obey their husbands, so the husband must be asked to 
bring his wife. So I beg him to do it; and if he considers, he 
can give no greater pleasure and benefit to her, or to me, or even 
to the children, if he brings any of them (I have no doubt about 
the daughterkin). It will cost money, that is true, but that 
could not be better spent, nor could one travel more cheaply. 
Once here, we can find a shelter. Write me a line soon. Mme 
Ob., who was so kind as to offer to write (I have given her Lud- 
wika's address), may be better able to convince you. Mlle de Ro- 
zières also will add a letter, and Cochet also has probably done 

408 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

so, for he certainly did not find me recovered. His Esculapius 
has not called for 10 days; he has probably guessed, at last, that 
there is something beyond his science here. All the same, praise 
him up well to your lodger and to others who know him, and say 
that he did me a lot of good, but that I am the sort of person who 
is satisfied the moment he gets a little better; that everyone re- 
gards him as having cured many persons here of cholera. The 
cholera is abating fast; it is almost gone. Today the weather is 
fine, so I sit in the sitting-room and admire my view over all 
Paris: the towers, the Tuileries, the Chamber of Deputies, St. 
Germ[ain] l'Aux[errois], St. Etienne du Mont, Notre Dame, the 
Panthéon, St. Sulpice, Val de Grace, the Invalides ; from 5 win- 
dows, and nothing but gardens between. You will see when you 
come. Now about passport and money; begin soon, as it takes 
time. Write me a line at once. You know, " even cypresses have 
their caprices " ; my caprice now is to see you. Perhaps God will 
allow things to come right; and if God doesn't, then at least act 
as if He would allow it. I have good hope of it, for I seldom de- 
mand much, and would refrain from asking this if I were not 
pressed by everyone who wishes me well. Hurry, Mr. Kalasanty, 
and I will give you a large and excellent cigar for it; I know a 
person who loves to smoke; but in the garden. I hope my letter 
for Mummy's name-day came in time, so that she did not miss 
me. I don't want to think about all this or I shall have fever ; I am 
not feverish, thank the Lord; which confuses and annoys all 
ordinary doctors. 

Your affectionate, but sick brother 

Ch. 
26 June. 



283. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
Chaillot,74. [1849]. 

My Life 

Yesterday Cich[owski] came to me, the second time since you 
left (because I wrote to him about the watch) ; he said that he 

409 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

had given the letter to Orda, and that if possible, he will hurry 
matters. The tailor has consented to an agreement. He also told 
me that Pani Plichcina is going home — that he wrote to you 
about it, and also that my sister is coming; which is quite untrue, 
for it was only today that I decided to write home about it. 
But you know his news. Pani Pot. is still in Versailles, and goes to 
Dieppe, to Mme Beauveau. Delacroix is in the country. Gutm. is 
in London (incognito), as if he had money to throw away; the 
Englishwomen are at St. Germain, Mme Obresk. also. It is good 
that you have had news of your son, for Cochet did not see him. 
Frenkel has not been here for two weeks. I have not spat blood 
since the day before yesterday, — my legs are swollen, — but 
I'm still weak and lazy, I can't go upstairs, I suffocate. And your 
staircase!! I am sorry not to see you, but I would rather you 
were in the country now than here, when it is so dull and every- 
one is away. 

I am writing to you at Pani Ludw.'s for the 3rd time since I 
have lost your garde malade. 1 1 don't know what to do with her, 
how to thank her. I don't want to send to her there, for there is a 
guardian, or some such person. She came here to say that she 
is going away; but someone came in, and before I had a chance 
to talk to her, she had slipped out. She sent me her visiting-card. 
She is good and kind, but I don't understand that card. I hope 
she will call again before she leaves for Brittany. I should not 
like to send there, because the Deput [?] knows nothing about 
me, and I fear to cause her unintentional unpleasantness. Keep 
well, look after yourself and don't give up. I also defend myself, 
as I can; but probably I shall not be strong enough. Pani Ma- 
tuszewska, who was with Princess Róża (and whom Princess 
Anna sent to me so that I should not be alone at night), says that 
" the Lord Jesus will put it right, you know "; and perhaps a 
plaster with honey and starch might help. 

[Paris] 2 July, Monday [1849]. 

1 sicknurse. 



410 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
284. 

[In French] 

To Solange Clésinger. 
Paris, Wednesday, 4 July 1849. 

Thanks for your good letter. I have received a line from 
M. Bouscinat at your order, for my carriage, but a recent blood- 
spitting changes my travelling plans for the moment. It is pos- 
sible that the Emperor, who is at Warsaw now, may give my sis- 
ter permission to come to see me; only then, after a thorough 
examination, shall I know whether I must leave Paris, or whether 
I can no longer endure long journeys and must stay here. Don't 
let us talk any more about me. I was glad to see that you reached 
Bordeaux without fatigue ; but this does not prove that you need 
not take care of yourself. I imagine your little girl with a big 
head, laughing, crying, noisy, slobbering, biting, and all the rest. 
You two must be very amusing together. When shall you make her 
begin to ride on horseback? I hope that now you have enough to 
do all the time, and that you wish there were twice as many hours 
in the day and night, even though the little Gascon girl wakes 
you so often. I start to scratch out again. I have nothing more to 
write to you, except that, as you have long known, I wish you all 
possible happiness. The cholera is abating, but, according to 
what I am told, Paris is becoming more and more deserted. It is 
hot here, and dusty. There is poverty, and dirt, and one sees 
faces that belong to the other world. They are all like Crémieux; 
even Bignat is said to be growing ugly. D'Arpentigny, however, 
is blond, and grows handsomer. The exhibition is not well spoken 
of. Delacroix was in the country for some weeks ; he is not very 
well, perhaps he will go to Aix-la-Chapelle. I am delighted to 
know that you are in your beautiful district. This is no time to be 
in a city. Be good enough to write me a few words when your 
daughter gives you a moment's peace, to keep me informed of 
the health of all of you, now that the family has increased by so 
large a unit. 

Be happy, all of you. 

Ch. 
411 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
285. 

To Wojciech Grzymała. 
[Chaillot] Tuesday, 10 July [18]49. 

I am very weak, my Life. I have some sort of diarrhoea. Yes- 
terday I consulted Cruveille, who advises me to take almost noth- 
ing, and just keep still. He said that if homeopathy had done 
me good in Molin's time, that was because it did not overload 
me with medicaments and left much to nature. But I see that he 
also regards me as consumptive, for he ordered a teaspoonful 
of something with lichen in it. So, as I can't travel, I have writ- 
ten to Plichcina ; in any case he was to come to me. I have also 
written to Orda. He has not yet answered. I also send on to you 
a letter which has come here for you from Germany. Pani Brzo- 
zowska (born Zamoyska) has taken the lodging above mine. 
The Zamoyskis have gone to Billancourt. This way I shall prob- 
ably see the Prince and Princess oftener, till they leave for 
Trouville, where they are going. Princess Marcellina is in Lon- 
don, for she was ordered to leave Vienna, or at least given to 
understand so. I have not seen Cichowski for two weeks. Pani Po- 
tocka is in Versailles ; later she will probably go to Spa. It is hot 
here. I have no news yet from my sister. I shall stay here this 
month, but if my sister does not come, I shall go, for everything 
is too dear here. I play less and less ; I can't write anything. 

Keep well. Work at your pamphlet; don't give way either to 
grief or to boredom. You have lived through so much. God grant 
you strength for the rest. 

Your 
Ch. 



412 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
286. 

To the Same. 

Chaillot, Saturday, 28 July [1849]. 

After your answer and her letter I just gave up. I didn't know 
whether to suspect her of hallucinations, or her messenger of 
theft, or whether to condemn Mme Etienne, or to regard myself 
as forgetful or crazy; in short, my head went round. 

She came to me with a confession, and told everything so stu- 
pidly, and her sister apparently knew nothing about it. I was 
finally obliged to tell her the truth, that I could not understand 
such munificent gifts from anyone, unless perhaps the Queen of 
England or Miss Coutt [Coutts?]. But that's how it is. The per- 
sonage to whom such a sum was entrusted without his knowledge, 
and who took no receipt from Mme Etienne for the letter (or par- 
cel), went to Alexis Somnambul. 1 Here the drama begins: 

Alexis tells him that on a Thursday in March (the 8th) he took 
some very important papers, addressed — (he wrote down my 
address) ; that the packet never arrived à sa destination; 2 that he 
has not got it, that he gave it up, in some kind of small dark room, 
to which one goes down 2 steps, to some woman (there were two 
of them, and the taller one took it) ; that she had in her hand 
a letter, which the postman had given to her ; that, taking the let- 
ter in question from this person, she told him that she would at 
once deliver it; but, Alexis added, she carried it downstairs, 
without even showing it to me, and I never saw the letter. When 
he was asked whether he could not see what had been done with 
the letter, he answered that he could not see, but that if anyone 
would bring him some hair, or a handkerchief, or gloves, be- 
longing to the person who received the letter, he could tell. Mrs. 
Erskine was present at the séance at Alexis's, and came yester- 
day to tell me about it, and to ask me how to get hold of some- 
thing belonging to Mme Etienne, so as to give it to Alexis. I got 
Mme Etienne to come to me, on a pretext of bringing me Boist 
and some handkerchiefs; and when she came I said — as if I 



1 A clairvoyant. 

2 at its destination. 



413 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

wanted to get rid of Mrs. Erskine, who was supposed to be asking 
for a lock of my hair for a clairvoyante who cures sick people in 
St. Germain (where the Scottish ladies are now living) — I 
said, as if I were trying to get out of it, that I would send her 
some of Mme Étienne's hair, and if she could tell whose it was, 
I would believe in her and send my own, but that I was convinced 
she would take the well person's hair for the invalid's. So, at my 
request, Mme Etienne cut off a lock of her hair and wrapped it 
up, and Mrs. Erskine took it away. 

This morning the messenger came to me with Mrs. Erskine, 
from Alexis. Alexis had recognized the hair of the person to 
whom the packet was given. He said that she had put the sealed 
packet into a small piece of furniture beside her bed, that the 
packet was still there and not lost, or delivered, or opened. That 
if the man goes about it tactfully, she will give it up to him, but 
that care is necessary. So then this man went straight from me, at 
noon, to the Square d'Orléans, found Mme Etienne alone, re- 
minded her that in March he had called and given her a packet 
for me, which he had told her was very important. She recog- 
nized him, and gave him back the packet, which he had given to 
her all those months back. It had not been unsealed, and inside 
were 25 thousands, untouched. At my lodging Mrs. Erskine 
opened it in his and my presence. What do you think of it? That 
clairvoyant! ! ! The packet lying so long untouched! ! Such queer 
occurrences make my head swim. You may take notice that I 
did not accept the donation; and that is enough about the matter, 
in writing. Some day I will tell you more. 

Now, believe in magnetism. 

It's by God's grace that it was found. There are many details 
that I don't write to you, for my pen burns. 

And now about something else — Princess Sapieha, Izia and 
Władzio went to Dieppe today. The Princess of Wirtemb. re- 
mains. Plichcina is doubtless already in Warsaw. 

I begin to doubt about my sister. I am no worse, and no better. 
I love you, and I wish I could see you. 

I embrace you. Y 

Write. 

Nothing new about Orda. 

414 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
287. 

To the Same. 

[Chaillot'] Friday, 3 August [1849]. 

You would not believe how I long to see you for just one 
hour; but I can't ask you to crawl out of your hole, for, al- 
though it is not 200, but only about a score of the Democratic 
Society who have been ordered to leave (and not one whom 
I have even known), still, it is a delicate matter, if you are 
afraid. 

As for my personal affair, there are many details which I can- 
not make fit in, either with magnetism, or with lying or hallucina- 
tions (Miss St.), or with the honesty of Mme Etienne. It is even 
possible que la chose a été faite après coup. 1 About that there is a 
lot to tell; among other things, that another anonymous letter 
was sent to me, which I gave into the writer's hands. I have not 
spoken a word about the whole matter with Mme Etienne, and 
shall not do so, though it is a week ago tomorrow. The letter may 
have been given to her 3 days before; as I was not in the house, 
and she was here, I could have had it just as well without as with 
a clairvoyant. All the more, as various conversations coincide ! ! 
There is kindheartedness there, — but what showing off! I wish 
I could see you. 

Clésinger brought Solange here, without money, and after a 
10-day journey in the heat with the baby and wetnurse, at a mo- 
ment when everyone is fleeing from here to the country! Where 
his brains are, I don't know ! ! No head ; or rather, a very nasty 
head! De Rozières is not here; she is at the waters in Belgium 
with Mme Grille. Sol, therefore, goes about looking for a lodg- 
ing. He wants to find something near Chaillot; it's amazing, what 
a fool he is! 

Except Franch. and Herbeault, everyone is out of town. Mme 
Obreskow is in St. Germain, she always comes to see me on Mon- 
days. I drink Bonnes water. My sister still has no permit. Later 
it will be useless, for his vacation will be over. I gasp, cough 

1 that the thing was got up afterwards. 

415 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

and am drowsy; I do nothing, I want nothing. That Alexis sticks 
in my head. 

Your 
Ch. 

I have not seen Cichota [Cichowski?] for two weeks. Of Virg. 
I know nothing. Orda has not sold the watch. He gave it to Cich. 
Those to whom he finally offered it, disputed its authenticity. 
They looked in the books at Breget's ; it is not mentioned. Your 
other affairs are doubtless patched up since then. 

Princess Sapieha and the old Prince came to me yesterday 
evening. The Princess, Izia and Władzio are at Dieppe, and well. 



288. 

[In French] 

To Mlle de Rozieres. 
Paris, 14 August 1849. 

My sister and Jędrz[iejewicz] and my niece have been with 
me for 5 days now. I am very tired. They too. I wish you as much 
happiness as I have at this moment, with a little more health, for 
I am weaker than ever. 

Your sincere friend 

Ch. 
My respects to M. Gr — de Baulin. 



416 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
289. 

[Polish translation from French] 

To Auguste Franchomme in Paris. 
[Cliaillot, August 1849.] 

My dear. 

Send me a little of your Bordeaux. I have to drink a little 
wine nowadays, and I have none. But wrap up the bottle, and 
put your own seal on it, for these messengers ! ! And I don't know 
to whom to entrust this message. How suspicious I have grown! 

Wholly yours, 

C. 



290. 

To Tytus Wojciechowski in Carlsbad. 

Paris, 20 August 1849. Square d'Orléans. Rue St. Lazare 9. 

My dearest one! 

It just needs for me to be as weak as this, and not able to move 
from Paris, when you are coming to Ostend. But I hope the Lord 
will allow you to come nearer to me. The doctors do not allow 
me to travel at all. I drink Pyrenean waters in my room, and 
your presence would do more for me than all physic. 

Yours till death 

Fryderyk. 



291. 

To Napoleon Orda. 

Grande Rue Chaillot, 74 [undated]. 

My Dear! 

Grzymała is in such haste over his business about the watch 
of which Cichowski spoke to you, that he has written to me, 

417 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 

asking me to adjure you, by all the sharps and flats that ever 
existed or could exist between us, to hurry about it. As you know, 
it cost 900 f r. He does not want to wait, so he is not trying to get 
more ; he even writes that you can sell it cheaper, if only you can 
get the matter settled quickly. My Dear, do your utmost, for our 
old friendship's sake. In return for that, the Lord will take ex- 
cellent care of a good Lithuanian, and give Pani Orda a hun- 
dred years of health. Meanwhile, please, give her my respects. 
I embrace you more feebly than of old, but from the same 
heart as of old. 

Your 
Ch. 



292. 

To Tytus Wojciechowski in Ostend. 
Paris, 12 September 1849. 

There has not been time enough to try for a permit for you to 
come here ; I can't go out to see to it myself, as I spend half the 
day in bed, so I asked an influential friend to help me out. I 
shan't know anything for certain till Saturday. I wanted to go 
abroad, to Valenciennes, by train, to embrace you; but a few 
days ago I was not able to get as far as Ville d'Avraye, near 
Versailles, to my goddaughter, and the doctors will not let me 
leave Paris. It's my fault, for being ill ; — otherwise I would 
have met you somewhere in Belgium. 

Perhaps you will manage to get here. I am not selfish enough 
to demand that you should come here for me; I am so weak 
that you would have only a few hours of boredom and disap- 
pointment, alternating with a few hours of pleasure and good 
memories; and I should like the time that we spend together to 
be only a time of complete happiness. 

Yours always 

Fryderyk. 



418 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
293. 

[Polish translation from French] 

To Auguste Franchomme in Paris. 

[Chaillot] Sunday, after your departure, 17 September 1849. 

Dear Friend! 

I am very sorry that you were not well at Le Mans. But now 
you are in Touraine, where the sunshine will doubtless improve 
your health. As for me, I am rather worse than better. MM. Cru- 
veille, Louis and Blachę have had a consultation, and have pro- 
nounced that I am not to travel, but to take a lodging with south 
windows and stay in Paris. After much searching, one has been 
found for me at last, very expensive, it is true, but satisfactory 
in every respect: Place Vendôme, No. 12. Albrecht has his office 
there at this moment, Meara has been very helpful about finding 
the place. In short, during the coming winter I shall see you all 
from under excellent conditions. My sister will remain with me, 
unless she should be urgently sent for to go home. I love you, and 
for this time that is all I can tell you, for I am ready to faint 
from fatigue and weakness. My sister is glad that she will see 
Mme Franchomme again; and I too am equally glad. May the 
will of heaven be done — My best greetings to Mr. and Mrs. 
Forest. How I should like to spend a few days with you all. Is 
Mme de Lauvergeat also staying by the sea? Don't forget to 
greet her from me when you see her, and her husband too. Em- 
brace your babes, and write me a line. 

Always yours 

Ch. 

My sister sends a kiss to Mme Franchomme. 



419 



CHOPIN S LETTERS 
294. 

[In French] 

[The last words which Chopin wrote, in pencil, on a sheet of 
letter paper.] 

As this cough will choke me, I implore you to have my body 
opened, so that I may not be buried alive. 



420 



^^^^^^«^^^^^^^•^^^«^^^^^^«^«^.as. 



INDEX 



Albert, Prince, 369 
Alboni, 363 
d'Appony, Mme, 171 
Athenseum, London, 368 

Baillot, 161 

Ballade, A flat major, opus 47, 241 

Bartolo, Antek, 343 

Belhaven, Lady, 396 

Berlioz, 172 

Białobłocki, Jan, letters to, 6-9, 13, 15, 

17, 18, 20, 22, 24, 31, 32, 34 
Bianchi, 69 
Bielaski, 72, 77 
Birnbach, 41 
Blahetka, 51, 57, 88 
Blahetka, Fraulein, 122 
Breitkopf and Hârtel, letters to, 219, 

221, 223, 253, 257, 259, 263, 265, 

313, 331 
Broadwood, 352, 374, 390 
Bruce, Lady, 372 
Buchholtz, 101 
Byron, Lady, 371 

Cadogan, Lady, 370 

Calergis, Mme, 336 

Cambridge, Duchess of, 370 

Canut, Ernest, letter to, 198 

Celiński, 53, 98 

Cherubini, 161, 226 

Cholet, 157 

Chopin, Frédéric-François, letters to 
his father, 3, 4; to his mother, 3; 
to his family, 10, 41, 43, 45, 48, 50, 
52, 55, 56, 60, 114, 117, 119, 122, 
126, 139, 141, 143, 145, 174, 284, 
293, 299, 305, 323, 342, 368; letters 
from Warsaw, 4-26, 31-40, 46, 64- 
116; letters from Reinertz, 27-30; 
first visit to Berlin, 41-45; début in 
Vienna, 52; concert in Warsaw, 76; 
letters from Vienna; 49-57, 121- 
150; from Prague, 58, 119; from 



Dresden, 60, 117; from Paris, 150- 
184, 252-255, 280, 281, 313-350, 
402-422; from Palma, 185-190; 
from Nohant, 201-219, 224-251, 
257-279, 282-312; from London, 
351-363, 396-401; from Scotland, 
364-395 

Cibini, Signora, 124 

Cinti-Damoreau, 157 

Clary, Prince, 61, 62 

Clésinger, 325, 402, 403, 415 

Clésinger, Solange, 275, 306, 312, 323, 
325, 328, 336, 337, 355, 376, 392, 
393, 415; letters to, 331-335, 339, 
344-348, 399, 402-404, 411 

Coletti, 309 

Combermere, Lady, 371 

Czartoryski, Prince, 385, 405, 412 

Czartoryski, Princess, 385, 386, 390, 
401, 405, 412 

Czerny, Karl, 51, 55, 58, 61, 66, 124, 
127, 137, 142, 154 

Davison, 370 

Delacroix, 257, 274, 293, 314, 404, 406, 

411 
Demmar, Baron, 53, 65 
Devrient, 63 
Dietrichstein, Count, 54 
Dmuszewski, 84 
Dobrzyński, 77 
Douglas, Marquis of, 370 
Dulcken, Mrs., 370 
Dumas, Alexandre, 310 
Duport, 127 
Dziewanowski, Dominik, letter to, 168 

Elsner, Jozef, 55, 56, 72, 77, 80, 81, 
97, 99, 107, 116, 145; letters to, 
30, 136, 159, 222, 255 

Emerson, R. W., 367 

Erard, 352 

Ernemann, 77, 85, 97 

Erskine, Mrs., 351, 357, 360, 362, 363, 



INDEX 



364, 375, 387, 390, 391, 397, 401, 
405, 413, 414 

Falmouth, Lord, 360, 368 

Fantasia in F minor, opus 49, 241 

Fétis, François Joseph, 161 

Fontana, Juljan, 47; letters to, 182, 
185-197, 200, 204, 207, 208, 210, 
211, 213, 214, 217, 218, 220, 224-251, 
349, 366 

Franchomme, Auguste, 171, 406; let- 
ters to, 173, 266-268, 273, 292, 351, 
364, 417, 419 

Freie Phantasie, 52 

Frenkel, Dr., 405, 407 

Gainsborough, Lady, 357, 371 

Galitzin, Prince, 80 

Gallenberg, Count, 50, 52, 64 

Geymiiller, 124 

Gibson, Mrs. Milner, 372 

Gładkowska, Konstancja, 97, 113, 130, 
148, 158 

Graff, 50, 123, 126 

Grote, Mrs., 372, 388 

Gryzmała, Wojciech, 77, 197, 335, 
338, 417; letters to, 183, 184, 187, 
199, 201-203, 206, 209, 217, 253-255, 
257, 258, 260, 265, 268, 282, 283, 
316-319, 322, 332, 350, 353, 354, 
356, 359, 363, 379, 381, 385, 387, 
389, 394, 395, 397, 401, 405, 406, 
409, 412-414 

Gutman, Adolf, 327, 358, 406; letters 
to, 352, 388 

Gyrowetz, 55, 57 

Halle, 353, 370 

Hamilton, Duke of, 396 

Haslinger, 50, 54, 58, 64, 66, 122, 126, 

128, 137, 140, 205, 237, 295 
Hauke, 59, 60 
Heine, Heinrich, 172 
Heinefetter, Frâulein, 132 
Herbaut, 349 
Herz, 152, 154 
Hiller, Ferdinand, 155; letters to, 167, 

171 
Hube, 54, 68, 85 
Hugo, Victor, 286 
Humboldt, F. W., 41, 44 
Hummel, Johann Nepomuk, 54, 127, 

137 

Impromptu: F sharp minor, by Chopin, 
218 



Jarocki, 37, 41, 43, 44 

Jedrzejewicz, Kalasanty, 35, 39, 46, 73, 

"290, 291, 294, 296, 302, 408, 409, 416; 
letter to, 170 
Jedrzejewicz, Ludwika, 270, 392, 416; 

'letters to, 272, 276, 336, 340, 407 

Kaczyński, 80 

Kalkbrenner, 152, 154^156, 160, 

370 
Klengel, 60, 66, 118-120 
Kolberg, Oskar, 325 
Kolberg, Wilhelm, letters to, 5, 27 
Kontski, Antony, 365 
Krzyżanowski, Ignacy, letter to, 359 
Kumelski, K., letter to, 151 
Kurpiński, 77, 85, 108 

Lablache, 156 

Lachner, 125 

Lanner, 129 

Leiser, General, 62 

Lemoine, Henri, 267 

Lempicki, Ludwig, 61, 62 

Lesueur, 162, 288 

Leverrier, 307 

Lichnowski, Count, 55, 66 

Lichtenstein, 37, 41, 43, 44 

Lind, Jenny, 353, 355, 372, 373, 388, 

406 
Linowski, 97 
Liszt, Franz, 154, 171, 183, 232, 237, 

295, 301, 302 
Lumley, 309 
Lyszczyński, Dr., 383, 396; letter to, 

398 

Malfatti, Dr., 123, 126, 128, 132, 136, 

140, 143, 154 
Malibran, 156, 162 
Marliani, Mme, 279, 314, 319, 333, 

335 
Marochetti, 288 
Marylski, Eustachy, letter to, 4 
Masset, 241 
Matuzyński, Jan, 308; letters to, 11, 

36, 121, 130, 135, 138 
Mazurkas in B major, F minor, C sharp 

minor, by Chopin, 311 
Mechetti, 137, 235, 237, 239, 244, 245, 

253 
Meissonier, 266, 267 
Mendelssohn, 44 
Merk, 127, 142 

Meyerbeer, Giacomo, 157, 160, 302 
Mickiewicz, Adam, 35 



11 



INDEX 



Mochnacki, 77 
Molesworth, Lady, 372 
Morlacchi, 63, 67 
Moscheles, Ignaz, 260 
Miiller, Fraulein, 276 
Murray, Lady, 364, 375 
Murray, Lord, 386 

Neukomm, 365, 377 

Nidecki, Tomasz, 55, 128; letters to, 

256, 258 
Nocturne, C minor, opus 48, 241 
Nocturne, F sharp minor, opus 48, 241 
Norblin, 161 
Nourrit, 157, 200 
Nowakowski, Józef, 277, 295, 306, 324; 

letter to, 321 

Obreskoff, Mme, 402, 403, 407, 408, 

415 
Obreskow, Princess, 285 
Orda, Napoleon, letter to, 417 
Orłowski, Antony, 100, 104, 162, 223 
d'Orsay, Count, 372 
Osborne, 365 

Ostrowski, Krystyn, letter to, 317 
Oury, Mme, 221 

Paër, 154, 161 

Paganini, 59 

Parma, Duke and Duchess of, 396 

Pasta, 156 

Pawłowski, 103, 107 

Pechwell, Miss, 67, 117 

Pelletan, 241, 249, 250 

Philharmonic Society of London, 370 

Pixis, 60, 158, 169 

Pleyel, Camille, 158, 185, 186, 188, 

190-197, 205, 226, 229, 246, 343, 406; 

letters to, 231, 251 
Polonaise, F sharp minor, opus 44, 241 
Poniatowski, 310 
Prelude, C sharp minor, 243 
Probst, Dr., 189-191, 193-196, 201, 219 

Radziwiłł, Prince, 37, 41, 44, 71, 73, 

90, 162 
Radziwiłł, Princess, 69, 75 
Ramorino, Girolamo, 163 
Reich, 161 

Rembielióski, Alexander, 16, 23 
Rich, Mrs., 379 
Rinaldi, 108 
Rondo in C major, 39 
Rondo à la Krakowiak, 47, 48, 77 
Rosières, Marie de, 236, 238, 277, 327, 

334, 365; letters to. 269-271, 274, 



275, 278, 291, 304, 305, 392, 398, 

416 
Rossini, Gioachino, 156, 161 
Rothschild, Lady, 357 
Rubini, 156 
Rzewska, Rozalja, 124 

Sadowski, 183 

Salamanca, 309 

Sand, George, 178, 197, 199, 201-203, 
216, 238, 243, 244, 249, 261, 266, 
268, 272, 282, 283, 298, 299, 307, 
327, 328, 332, 336-339, 341, 346, 
356, 360, 376, 399; letters to, 262, 
263, 274, 279, 280, 314, 315, 319-322, 
329, 330 

Sartoris, Mrs., 368, 373 

Scheffer, 326, 327 

Schiroli, Mme, 75 

Schlesinger, Maurice, 159, 189, 193- 
196, 205, 222, 227, 241, 243, 245, 
246, 253, 266, 267, 273; letter to, 
260 

Schmidt, Alois, 133, 138 

Schnabel, 115 

Schroder-Devrient, 156 

Schumann, Robert, 197 

Schuppanzigh, 50, 57 

Schwabe, 381 

Serwaczyński, 72 

Sey fried, 51 

Shelburne, Lady, 371 

Skarbek, 56 

Slawik, 127, 130, 142 

Soliva, Carlo, 69, 80, 81, 85, 87, 92, 
97, 99, 101, 102, 107, 110, 113, 114, 252 

Somerset, Duchess of, 356 

Somnambul, Alexis, 413, 414 

Sonntag, Fraulein, 87, 90-93 

Sowiński, 165, 365, 367 

Spontini, G. L. P., 37, 44 

Stafford House, 369 

Stein, 50, 51, 52 

Stern, 285 

Stirling, Jane, 364, 365, 375, 379, 387, 
390, 397, 401, 405 

Strauss, 129, 137 

Sutherland, Duchess of, 356 

Szembek, General, 98 

Szulczewski, 390, 401 

Szymanowska, Pani, 34 

Tchernicheff, Mme, 245 
Thalberg, 133, 353 
Torpichen, Lord, 375, 386 
Trio in G minor, 39 



111 



INDEX 



Troupenas, 232, 233, 244 
Turowska, Yozefa, letter to, 252 

Variations, by Chopin, 50 

Viardot, 283, 287, 311, 353, 354, 358, 

360, 404 
Victoria, Queen, 354, 356, 369 
Vieuxtemps, 326 

Wellington, Duke of, 353 

Wertheim, 54 

Wessel, 190, 208, 220, 240, 248, 253 

Wieck, Clara, 193, 200 

Wieman, 362 

Wild, 132 

Wiman, 77 

Witwicki, Stefan, letter to, 281 



Wodzińska, Teresa, letters to, 176, 177, 

179, 180 
Wodziński, Anton, 193, 194, 200, 220, 

235-238, 248, 295; letter to, 178 
Wodziński, Felix, letter to, 173 
Woerlitzer, 87 
Wojciechowski, Tytus, letters to, 37, 

46, 64, 68, 73, 76, 80, 84, 87, 90, 93, 

96, 100, 103, 106, 110, 113, 153, 162, 

417, 418 
Wołków, 97, 110, 111, 113, 114 
Wood, 374 
Wiirfel, 50, 51, 53, 55, 56, 59, 64, 65, 

123, 127, 137, 146 

Zelter, 44, 45 
Żywny, 57, 70 



IV 



A 

NOTE 

ON THE 

TYPE IN 

WHICH THIS 

BOOK IS SET 

This book is com- 
posed on the Linotype 
in Bodoni, so-called after 
its designer, Giambattista 
Bodoni (1740-1813) a cele- 
brated Italian scholar and 
printer. Bodoni planned his type 
especially for use on the more smoothly 
finished papers that came into vogue late 
in the eighteenth century and drew his letters 
with a mechanical regularity that is readily 
apparent on comparision with the less formal old 
style. Other characteristics that will be noted are 
the square serifs without fillet and the marked 
contrast between the light and heavy strokes. 

SET UP, ELECTROTYPED, PRINTED 
AND BOUND BY THE PLIMPTON 
PRESS, NORWOOD, MASS- 
PAPER MADE BY S. D. 
WARREN CO., BOSTON, 
MASSACHUSETTS 



3*^2 





DATE 


. DUE 


^OV 1 % 


0® 












































































































































. 


GAYLORD 






PRINTED IN U.S.A. 



927.81 C45xb 



3 5002 00394 0421 

Chopin, Frederic 
Chopin's letters; 



ML 410 . C54 A26 

Chopin, Fr ed eric, 1810 
1Ô49. 



Chopin's letters